Hey there! Sign in to join this conversationNew here? Join for free

Feeling like a failure as i'm not going to a Russell group university. Watch

    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by aspirinpharmacist)
    I know the feeling. My hometown's very similar. I hate how competitive parents get and how even amongst friends parents will just use their childrens achievements like weapons. I mean, nobody at home really knows what UEA is, so when they ask my mum where I'm studying they're like "Oh, that's nice." It's like we stop being people and we're just the reputations of our universities, which is ridiculous. So I know what you mean. A few of my friends mums were obsessed with knowing what marks I got in exams, me and my friend used to complain about it. :lol: I got the "Well, Amber's academic but if she were competing with my daughter for a job my daughter would win because she'd charm them in the interview" So you really can't win with those types. Try to ignore them, because the thing is that if you go off and make something of yourself then you'll have ultimately won over people who stay in the same town/village their whole life and have nothing to do but judge other people. Don't let them get to you
    So, so true! Parental competition is insane sometimes about which uni their beloved offspring have made it to, to the point where you even hear of people lying slightly about it - mentioning 'Manchester' when it was actually MMU or 'Cambridge' when it was UEA, etc. I think sometimes people who do make it into an RG just wish their parents would stop going on about it all the time to other people. :rolleyes:

    OP, don't worry by the way, nobody at Cambridge knows the PM personally, well, nobody but a handful of ridiculously over-eager Tory supporters anyway. :eek:
    Offline

    19
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Fullofsurprises)
    So, so true! Parental competition is insane sometimes about which uni their beloved offspring have made it to, to the point where you even hear of people lying slightly about it - mentioning 'Manchester' when it was actually MMU or 'Cambridge' when it was UEA, etc. I think sometimes people who do make it into an RG just wish their parents would stop going on about it all the time to other people. :rolleyes:

    OP, don't worry by the way, nobody at Cambridge knows the PM personally, well, nobody but a handful of ridiculously over-eager Tory supporters anyway. :eek:
    Haha, I know. No, your child is not at Glasgow uni, they're at Glasgow Caledonia (one of my friends goes there, not being snobby, just highlighting how uni's can appear very different if you change the name).

    Parental competition drives me insane. I hope I'm mature enough if I'm ever a parent to keep my mouth shut.
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Well the future king of Britain didn't go to a Russell group university so calm yourself right down
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I don't see why everyone gets so worked up about this "russell group uni" thing. Universitys such as St Andrews & Strathclyde- Universities that are frequently higher than the University of Glasgow on league tables for graduate employment and teaching standards-aren't russell group universities. It's really not that important, i'd never even heard of the phrase until TSR.
    Offline

    14
    ReputationRep:
    Should have studied harder then, shouldn't you?
    Online

    20
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by deedee123)
    I don't see why everyone gets so worked up about this "russell group uni" thing. Universitys such as St Andrews & Strathclyde- Universities that are frequently higher than the University of Glasgow on league tables for graduate employment and teaching standards-aren't russell group universities. It's really not that important, i'd never even heard of the phrase until TSR.
    It seems to have become an easy shorthand, I'm sure many people just assume St Andrews and the like are in the RG. The BBC even use it lazily now, I heard a discussion on Radio 4 the other day about people applying for science courses and one of the academics on the programme had to keep correcting the presenter about it, pointing out that not all of the top universities are in the RG!
    Offline

    2
    ReputationRep:
    Most posters on TSR are teenagers who have never done a degree and have no idea what it entails. It's not about where you go, it's about what you do: for the humanities, at least, your own motivation and study are far more important than anything you can take away from a class.

    I didn't go to a Russell Group institution at undergrad (admittedly it was 1994, which is often seen as the equivalent for smaller institutions). My postgraduate institution only just became one. My options for next year are currently looking very bright. This is not to brag, this is to give you some reassurance that it's not about where you go, it's about what you do whilst you're there. I know people who went to ex-polys and did accounting degrees who are now employed, whilst there are people who were on my course with me unable to get a graduate job. That's, admittedly, largely because the economy is FUBAR at the moment and the government have screwed us over, as governments tend to do, but I digress...
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    Hey, no worries. Do a foundation year in any university and then transfer to a Russel Group university if you prefer. I know someone who did that. He applied to a RU university in the middle of his foundation degree and got an offer from a RU university with the condition that he gets 80% in his two foundation modules. There is always hope. c:
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    wow, plymouth isn't that bad...
    but anyways maybe your gcse's can be overlooked due to extenuating circumstances (which should really be A*'s and A's for a top uni)
    The a level grades aren't that good, i would suggest you not accepting the plymouth offer and doo your best in your exams, then on your gap year re apply whilst doing the subjects you didn't do at a college for example.
    If you get all A*s i doubt most unis would turn you down,
    my freind got 4 regections for medicine got 5A*s on results day and he was spoilt for choice at all the unis phoning him up,
    its not all over till the fat lady sings
    Offline

    1
    ReputationRep:
    Russell group means nothing. Absolutely nothing. It is just something for people who didn't get into Cambridge or Oxford to console themselves with, as in 'my uni is better than some ex-poly because it's Russell Group'. It is nothing to be snobby about. My boyfriend says it to me all the time. However, when I emerge from my ex-poly uni with two placement years and a first and he leaves the Russell Group with a 2:2 we shall see if Russell Group means anything.

    Actually that sounds spiteful. He actually only says these things to wind me up lol
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Annuhlees)
    <snip>
    I don't really think that you should feel sorry for yourself, as you seem to have come from a pretty crappy background.

    It may seem like most of TSR have A/A* grades in most subjects, but remember, they went to much better schools then you and came from better backgrounds and studied with people that wanted decent grades.

    So I think relative to your peers, that you have done very well.

    I'm not going to give you advice about whether you should go to Portsmouth or not because I've not even been through the process myself.
    Offline

    13
    ReputationRep:
    Most of my friends have never heard of my uni when I tell them where I'm going, but the people I know in the career I want to go into react really positively and tell me that it'll be fantastic for me. I realised that its all about where's best for me and my future!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    Portsmouth is not a terrible uni. It's mid table and actually pretty decent for geography. I've just firmed my place for bsc geography at royal holloway starting September and I need ABB I turned down 2 RG unis because I knew I wouldn't it in there and that their research wasnt in the area I wanted and that actually RHUL ranked (not the be all or end all) better than the 2 RG wanting AAB. But I go to a grammar school where everyone wants a RG. The reality 99% of us have straight A*-C at GCSE with most being A*/A we all came into yr12 with the attitude that exams were easy. You now see 60% year group struggling to keep ABB-BBC in the last a level exams and although most of us will go to RG or 1994 groups a lot will attend mid ranked unis like Portsmouth. Background doesn't determine everything. Your school wasbt great and you were surrounded by people who didnt want to learn - my school is pretty good and everyone does want to learn. But there's people with comparable grades o yours at a level. It's what you make of it. If your not sure about Portsmouth try extra or take a year out. Plymouth and Bournemouth had good geography courses when I first started looking!

    Btw good choice of degree. I love physical geography and want to go into climate change! Get your head down and push for those grades and I'm sure you can do better than an E in your last geog module!! Positive thinking + hard work is half the battle. Aim for a B and see what happens! Good luck!!!


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    17
    ReputationRep:
    People put so much thought into how high ranking their universities are... It kind of saddens me.
    I knew from the age of 12 that I wanted to go to Glasgow. I had no idea that it was pretty high in the rankings and was part of the Russell Group, I just knew the place looked amazing and thats just where I wanted to go.

    In fact I didn't know they were in the Russell Group till my first year of going there!
    What I'm trying to say is I know that degrees 'mean more' to employers if they're from high ranking universities but don't be disappointed if your uni isn't in it. A degree from Portsmouth is better than a lot of other unis and its definitely better than none.

    Don't give up, and who knows? Maybe once you've got your degree you can do your post-grad or something else at university at a Russell Group one You've got your whole life OP!

    Ohhh and don't take TSR as a norm for grades. Most of the people on here were glued to their books for GCSE's and A-Levels...
    (Original post by Annuhlees)
    ...
    Offline

    12
    ReputationRep:
    Your naive obsession with the Russel group is much more detrimental than the fact you are going to Portsmouth university.

    Do you really think the oversubscribed graduate program you will eventually be applying to will care whether you went to a mediocre RG or not?
    Offline

    15
    ReputationRep:
    I wouldn't worry so much about the Russell Group thing, people who know what it actually means won't look down on you. I chose my uni because to me it seemed the best choice in the area, its an RG uni and RGs are essentially big on research, and I want to do research and that's pretty much it.


    Posted from TSR Mobile
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Annuhlees)
    I feel embarrassed when I tell people that i'm going to Portsmouth in September. I know it's a good university and at the end of the day it is an university so I should feel proud but I really really don't.

    I've always been an average student- I got normal year 6 SATs, middle set in school and C's at GCSE. I went to a rough secondary where being 'clever' was seen as a bad thing. I was surrounded by people who set fire to exercise books and where getting kicked out of lessons was a good thing. I never revised for my GCSEs; I attempted to revise for the lessons I enjoyed but I didn't know about the different exam boards and modules so I revised the wrong things. The first time I read the poems for my English exam was in the exam. I ended up getting an A in short course RE (the only reason I got that was because I was get out of lessons and only had a RE revision guide for the day), 7 C's and 4 D's including Maths, additional science, Geography and English Lit. I was really proud of myself as I got my 5 A-C's where as most of my friends got E's- I was the only person to get a C at GCSE science in my class and I was 3rd set out of 6!

    I ended up going to my local regional college to study Btec media production. I hated it, my course was full of dumb asses with mental problems or stoners (not all of them, but most!). I decided that it wasn't for me as I thought I could do better. I missed science, I wanted to be changed so I resat my GCSEs in Math, Science and additional science. I came out with an B in science, and C's in the other two. It wasn't brilliant as I wasn't able to study sciences at 6th form but it wasn't bad as I just resat and attempted to home educate myself.

    Now, at 6th form i've realised that the reason I done badly before was because of the type of people I surrounded myself with. So I decided to hang out with clever/middle class kids at school. I go to the school orchestra and most of my friends outside of school either are at russell groups or they're going to a russell group.

    I wasn't able to do academic a-levels due to my poor GCSE's even tho my mum explained to my head of 6th form that I had a lot of time off due to my fathers death in year 10 and the bad school. I was allowed to do Music, Geography, Psychology and Media.

    I was already disadvantaged at A-level music as I didn't take GCSE music as my old school didn't offer it as I was the only student who played an instrument (excluding the odd kid who can play a 4 chord song on guitar). Psychology I got a D at AS (I hate psychology so much as I disagree with the majority of it!) I achieved a B in media and I got the highest in the class in coursework and exam. Then I come to Geography, my new passion in life, I got a D at GCSE and just missed out on a B by a couple of marks in As. I was the only student in As to get a grade as everyone else got U's. The others got A/B at GCSE all got U's because they were machined through GCSE. This is where I wonder what would of I got if I went to this school before A-levels for GCSE. I mean, I should feel proud? I didn't put lots of effort into As, some of the other students put way more effort into extra case studies or done more past papers and got a worse grade than me.

    This comes to my final point about me being so ashamed of not going to a Russell Group university as many people within my year seem to be stupid but getting through A-levels/Btec and going to university. Someone in my psychology/media class thought that Glasgow was the capital of Wales and she's going to a Russel group as she's predicted ABB. Another person is going to university who bit into a candle on the joint business/geography trip as he believed it to be edible. Who the hell doesn't know that a candle isn't edible, like a bog standard birthday candle. His argument was that it was on a cake so he thought it would of been edible.

    I have this image of being in my accommodation surrounded by fools. No, i'm not the cleverest person in the world but all the real fake and people lacking common sense seems to be going to university.

    I've kinda gone on a massive ramble and lost the point I was trying to make but yeah.

    When I was younger (about 11-14) my Dad used to take me to Cambridge a few times a year to the music shop. My parents brought me my flute from Ken Stevens so we used to wonder around Cambridge university walking between colleges. I fell in love with the old buildings, the city and everything about it really. I have this image of university being full of intelligent people who know who the prime mister is and understand what is meant by the coalition. An old library full of potential lawyers and doctors. Going to orchestra in the evening and going to the pub afterwards. I know that Portsmouth has an orchestra (one of the reasons I picked that university) but it doesn't have the right feel. I'm so embarrassed that i'm not going to a red brick, I don't have a list of A*'s and my A-levels aren't looking much better either. All I need to get into university is CCDD and i've already got my C in Geography (I just need to get an E in the summer exam) and my coursework/last years grade has made my media exam an B already.

    I have no motivation to go to school or do my exams because A) I'm pretty much into university. B) I don't like my subjects except Geography because I wasn't able to pick ones I wanted. C) Even if I got A's in the summer no decent university will accept me next year for physical Geography because of my choice of A-levels. D) I some times find i'm surrounded by baboons. E) I'm not really fond of my university because I find my course wishy washy.

    I'm going to stop rambling.

    Is anyone else in the same boat?

    I was very emotional writing this and some how turned into a massive rant.

    The point I was trying to make was I've really turned my life around, i've done better than most was expecting yet I feel like a failure for not going to a RG university.
    Seriously, don't worry about it. Russell group universities have far too many pretentious middle class snobs, pseudo intellectuals, and people who made it there because of the wealth of their pushy parents, rather than actual intelligence (or even hard work). Be cool and don't go to one, because the truth is they're just hotspots for spoilt, deluded, arrogant people...

    I used to be just like you. I went to a state comprehensive and was a late bloomer; I didn't do amazingly in my SATs compared to some so-called geniuses in my year group, but when I started my GCSEs I really wanted to show what I was capable of, and prove my predicted grades wrong. I'm just from an ordinary background with laid back parents, but I've always been a perfectionist (probably a symptom of being an only child) and at one point I wanted to go to Oxford, until I started my A-Levels and came to terms with the fact that getting there for me was just unrealistic...

    Anyway, I still worked hard and made it to a Russell group uni. The problem is, my life here isn't what I imagined it to be. It's pretty ***t actually. I've learned that it doesn't matter where you go, it's the people around you who make it. In my first term I was in expensive halls, and I was surrounded by upper-middle class twits and ponses who went to private schools (if you are going to a Russell Group uni please don't go for the priciest halls) - but even those who didn't go to private schools tended to be from well-off backgrounds. I've met very few like-minded people with normal upbringings and interests, and the general social life is pretty dire by typical university standards. I mean, you might as well have fun and make the most of you're time there, but so many people here have this all-work-no-play approach to university life (usually a symptom of expensive schools where kids are driven to over-succeed), and they don't seem to realise that they'll regret it later on. I worked hard at my school but Jesus, I still liked to get drunk with my friends 2-3 times a week...

    If I could start all over again I'd simply apply for an ex-polytechnic like my friends did, and have an amazing time at a place where I'm more likely to find people who are non-snobby, non-privileged, normal, and nice (and I'm aware you get ********s everywhere so no need to point out that out). I envy you for going to Portsmouth. I really do. I'd much rather have 3 years of happiness than something that's gonna look cool on my CV...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JamesTheCool)
    people who made it there because of the wealth of their pushy parents, rather than actual intelligence (or even hard work). Be cool and don't go to one, because the truth is they're just hotspots for spoilt, deluded, arrogant people...
    How does that work? And seriously...telling people not to go somewhere which will improve their job prospects and has much better student satisfaction on average. What a dickmove. I'm sure there are a lot of nice people at RGs and a lot of horrible people at non-RGs, it works both ways. Your inverse snobbery is really showing here.
    Offline

    11
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by Tabzqt)
    How does that work? And seriously...telling people not to go somewhere which will improve their job prospects and has much better student satisfaction on average. What a dickmove. I'm sure there are a lot of nice people at RGs and a lot of horrible people at non-RGs, it works both ways. Your inverse snobbery is really showing here.
    Well, it's an observation I've made anyway. And if you'd care to check, Russell Group universities have the highest ratios of privately educated to state schooled people, so if you'd like to stop being politically correct for a minute, in a way it does 'work'. And I'm sorry, but there is quite a bit of snobbery, elitism and Hooray Henries from the former demographic. I'm not saying all rich, privately educated are like that, but I don't think I'd be completely wrong in saying that a sizeable portion in that group are, so stop being overly defensive...

    For God's sake, it's the degree you achieve that counts, not the f****** place you go to. I wish all you TSR nonces would grow up and understand that...

    Student satisfaction? Isn't that just based on factors that aren't important to people who have a life (no offense), such as 'consistency of feedback' and 'lesson structure'? They don't mean a thing if you're not happy yourself. Besides, most people don't even think when they fill those stupid, pointless forms out.

    It's not a dickmove, I'm just warning state schoolers that RGs may not be for them, because it can be a culture shock, and quite an intimidating, alienating, lonely experience if you're as unlucky as I was. And I'm giving some consolation that going to a non-RG isn't the end of the world. But I'm sorry, go wherever the hell you want...

    Yes, you're right, there are a lot of nice people at RGs and a lot of horrible people at non-RGs, and there are also a lot of nice people at non-RGs and a lot of horrible people at RGs. Some people are just c***s, yes, but there is no denying that the kind of school you go to significantly shapes who you become, and that's probably where my 'inverted snobbery' comes from, because it ties down to the fact that I don't think the education system in this country is at all fair. I'd be interested to see how my boarding schooled acquaintances would've turned out if they went to my school for 7 years...
    Offline

    0
    ReputationRep:
    (Original post by JamesTheCool)
    Because if you'd care to check, Russell Group universities have the highest ratios of privately educated to state schooled people, and I'm sorry, but there is quite a lot of snobbery and elitism from the former demographic.
    Seriously, it's the degree that counts, not the f****** place you go to. I wish all you TSR nonces would grow up and understand that...
    It's not a dickmove, just a warning, and consolation that not going to a RG is the end of the world.
    Yes, there are a lot of nice people at RGs and a lot of horrible people at non-RGs, and there are also a lot of nice people at non-RGs and a lot of horrible people at RGs. There's no denying that the kind of school you go to has an effect on your personality, good or bad is irrelevant, it's different.
    There is nothing wrong with inverted snobbery.
    I've experienced some negative behaviour from people going to non-RG unis too, but I didn't jump to the conclusion that everyone going to a non-RG is an idiot. That would be preposterous.

    Um, yes, the degree counts. But so does the institution to some extent. Do you really think employers will value Manchester Met over Manchester? get real...

    There is everything wrong with inverted snobbery. People who grew up in rich families didn't choose to be born that way any more than people chose to be born into poor families. So stop judging them just because of that, it's completely ridiculous. It sounds like you've had a few bad experiences with people at your uni and have just assumed that everyone is like that. You are wrong.
 
 
 
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • Poll
    Would you like to hibernate through the winter months?
    Applying to uni

    All the essentials

    The adventure begins mug

    Student life: what to expect

    What it's really like going to uni

    Graduates celebrate

    How to write a good personal statement

    Expert PS advice from the people who will read it

    Uni match

    Uni match

    Can't decide where to apply? Our tool will help you find the perfect course

    Two students working together

    A-Z of universities

    Read our guides to unis and colleges from around the UK

    A student working on a computer

    Personal statement help

    Use our tool to get your ideal PS quickly!

    Hands typing

    Degrees without fees

    Discover more about degree-level apprenticeships.

    A student looking down a microscope

    Planning open days

    Find upcoming open days and get advice on preparing.

    Help out other students

    These questions still need an answer

    Groups associated with this forum:

    View associated groups
  • See more of what you like on The Student Room

    You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

  • The Student Room, Get Revising and Marked by Teachers are trading names of The Student Room Group Ltd.

    Register Number: 04666380 (England and Wales), VAT No. 806 8067 22 Registered Office: International House, Queens Road, Brighton, BN1 3XE

    Quick reply
    Reputation gems: You get these gems as you gain rep from other members for making good contributions and giving helpful advice.