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Just started Sociology classes on Access... watch

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    I'm a little worried that I am not as opinionated as most of the other students. They all want to say their bit about every social issue you can imagine. I'm a bit intimidated by it all really. I came on the course to learn more about it, but I don't seem to have to knowledge everyone else does to get involved in these debates.

    I just wanted to come into the class and learn what is really happening out their, not about the opinions on what is happening of other students. Does that make sense?

    Maybe I'm getting over aggitated all too early on, but the way they dont even take turns and just shout over each other is really not my way of doing things. I like to think it over slowly and calmly and come to a conclusion that way.

    Does it get easier? I just don't really know what to expect based on that first lesson!
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    Hey,

    What matters most on Access is the quality of your written work. Always remember this, because what happens in-class can intimidate you especially at the beginning, when you're subconsciously comparing yourself to everyone in one way or another. You shouldn't worry too much about in-class participation. This talking over each other and straining at the bit to make an opinion heard - it happened a lot when I did my course, and sometimes there were these overly tangential contributions which dragged on and annoyed a lot of us. It tends to happen when you discuss highly-charged topics such as those covered in Sociology.

    That said, the discussions can be useful and are actually part of the whole process. I'd accept that it can be intimidating when other people seem to have a lot more to say on a given topic than you, but remember that it's early days and you're assessed on essays. Also, to state the obvious, everyone has their own style of learning and pace of learning (as you alluded to). Therefore, you might find - as I did - that many things don't make sense during the lesson, but after you sit by yourself and start going over them, processing them, digesting them etc, you begin to 'get it' and it's eureka all the way.

    I had a few colleagues who never uttered a word in lessons, and yet wrote impressive essays and earned mostly distinctions. It was always a shock to hear of the grade they earned, because they said absolutely nothing, even when picked on to contribute by the tutors.

    I think you'll become more comfortable with it (either contributing or letting others do it) as you attend more lessons.

    Best of luck!
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    I would recommend reading some broad social issue magazines such as new statesmen and the spectator to try and form some opinions, this may give you the confidence to speak up in class. Any library should have a copy of these, they do also have limited access on their websites.

    Edit: just to add

    I was exactly the same, said nothing in class was very quiet in the pub with my mates. Now I am maybe one of the most vocal in class and it's a lot more fun. Though I would really try and refrain from talking over people. Being boorish and shouting down is a certifiably way of showing someone you dont know what you're talking about.
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    (Original post by JPO92)
    I'm a little worried that I am not as opinionated as most of the other students. They all want to say their bit about every social issue you can imagine. I'm a bit intimidated by it all really. I came on the course to learn more about it, but I don't seem to have to knowledge everyone else does to get involved in these debates.

    I just wanted to come into the class and learn what is really happening out their, not about the opinions on what is happening of other students. Does that make sense?

    Maybe I'm getting over aggitated all too early on, but the way they dont even take turns and just shout over each other is really not my way of doing things. I like to think it over slowly and calmly and come to a conclusion that way.

    Does it get easier? I just don't really know what to expect based on that first lesson!
    I and a bunch of other students had the exact same problem. We'd have a lesson which was supposed to provide content, and when transpired was that about 4 (unsophisticated) students would use this an opportunity to get on their soapbox and saturate the conversation. The classic preface of As a mother, I think ... would lace every sentence like a poison. It was utterly tragic. I don't think this will stop anytime soon for you, and the way I and the other students coped was winding up the opinionated ranters. That was the only enjoyment I could extract from it, but this might not be for you.

    I would note that all the people who'd sit there talking **** got merits, and that I and the other students got distinctions. There is most definitely a difference between offering your opinion out like free candy and being able to articulate your ideas in a considered academic way. The latter is not much suited to on-the-spot grrr-type arguments.
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    (Original post by callum_law)
    I and a bunch of other students had the exact same problem. We'd have a lesson which was supposed to provide content, and when transpired was that about 4 (unsophisticated) students would use this an opportunity to get on their soapbox and saturate the conversation. The classic preface of As a mother, I think ... would lace every sentence like a poison. It was utterly tragic. I don't think this will stop anytime soon for you, and the way I and the other students coped was winding up the opinionated ranters. That was the only enjoyment I could extract from it, but this might not be for you.

    I would note that all the people who'd sit there talking **** got merits, and that I and the other students got distinctions. There is most definitely a difference between offering your opinion out like free candy and being able to articulate your ideas in a considered academic way. The latter is not much suited to on-the-spot grrr-type arguments.
    I just had to reply to this as soon as I read about the 'As a mother' line starting every sentence.

    It's the same on my pathway (Science), and the majority of students on my pathway who do not have children find it very irritating.

    No disrespect to any parent out there, but bringing up your child/children in every single conversation during class is frustrating.
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    (Original post by Kaeden)
    I just had to reply to this as soon as I read about the 'As a mother' line starting every sentence.

    It's the same on my pathway (Science), and the majority of students on my pathway who do not have children find it very irritating.

    No disrespect to any parent out there, but bringing up your child/children in every single conversation during class is frustrating.
    Indeed,

    "As a mother" and other such sayings show you have no empathy for other people's opinions.
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    (Original post by callum_law)
    I and a bunch of other students had the exact same problem. We'd have a lesson which was supposed to provide content, and when transpired was that about 4 (unsophisticated) students would use this an opportunity to get on their soapbox and saturate the conversation. The classic preface of As a mother, I think ... would lace every sentence like a poison. It was utterly tragic. I don't think this will stop anytime soon for you, and the way I and the other students coped was winding up the opinionated ranters. That was the only enjoyment I could extract from it, but this might not be for you.

    I would note that all the people who'd sit there talking **** got merits, and that I and the other students got distinctions. There is most definitely a difference between offering your opinion out like free candy and being able to articulate your ideas in a considered academic way. The latter is not much suited to on-the-spot grrr-type arguments.
    The 'As a mother, I thnk' thing has already happened many a time. I was under the impression that personal bias was to remain out of Sociological discussion?

    Well, it gives me a little hope that even though I am one of the odd ones in my class, I may actually have a better grasp as long as I work hard.
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    There were plenty of parents in my class but not much 'as a mother' going on. Did anyone have a former soldier on their course? Trust me, the one in mine always talked others down and pretty much demanded attention for their opinions and pretty much didn't care about anyone else's opinion, they suddenly became nice when help was needed.

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    I must admit I didn't experience (or just didn't notice) the "as a mother" intro tactic too often in my group, but my experience generally tallies with most of the others on this thread. I would encourage you to contribute when you can (if you feel it's a good time to chip in), but, as per what callum_law was saying, you should be trying to articulate your ideas in a thoughtful fashion, not just blurting out whatever's at the forefront of your mind at the time. It's worth doing, since you want to be actively involved in the course (as a whole) to get the most out of it.

    That said, don't worry about it too much if you're not the most vocal. There were plenty of people who talked a lot more (and sometimes more forcefully, shall we say) than I did, yet they didn't get the same results I did. When it comes down to it, a written essay exposes your arguments to a more 'forensic' analysis than those you present verbally in class. It's often (though not always) the case that those who seem very sure of themselves in class aren't so impressive when it comes to constructing a lucid argument on paper.

    While I respect those juggling an academic workload and parental responsibilities, there can be a few who seem think it automatically entitles them to automatic deference from others who aren't doing the same. One thing to bear in mind with the "parents who constantly need to remind you they're parents" types is that while it can grate on you as a non-parent with them in class, when you go home, you can comfortably get on with your assignments unhindered and then enjoy your free time once you're done. They'll be battling with their kids just to get their essays done, never mind have a chance to sit down and watch a bit of TV.
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    (Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
    as a non-parent with them in class, when you go home, you can comfortably get on with your assignments unhindered and then enjoy your free time once you're done. They'll be battling with their kids just to get their essays done, never mind have a chance to sit down and watch a bit of TV.
    As a parent I agree with your 'as a non-parent' point Jimmy xD.

    But yeah to the OP, you will get used to it , don't write it off just yet. If someone makes a point that you may agree with, try chipping in just saying that you agree with them, it works wonders for your confidence, it did for me anyway.

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    (Original post by bibliboo)
    There were plenty of parents in my class but not much 'as a mother' going on. Did anyone have a former soldier on their course? Trust me, the one in mine always talked others down and pretty much demanded attention for their opinions and pretty much didn't care about anyone else's opinion, they suddenly became nice when help was needed.

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    This is interesting because there are people on my course who act the same way, where they completely change their personality whenever they need help.

    I've been in some pretty unpleasant situations with people on my course - two mothers in particular would often downplay my distinction grades and say that I only got the grades because I don't have children on my own. They're right about me not having children, but I worked 30+ hours on top of my course while still making time for training as I am involved in quite a few sports outside of college. What's funny is that these women would state that they are doing the Access course for their children, but then blame their grades on their children when they didn't get what they needed.

    I can't imagine how difficult it is being a mother (I'm 20, male), but working 30+ hours a week on top of assignments etc isn't exactly a walk in the park...

    It does get easier, JPO92. You'll meet some great people and some err... not so great people, but you'll manage.
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    (Original post by Kaeden)
    This is interesting because there are people on my course who act the same way, where they completely change their personality whenever they need help.

    I've been in some pretty unpleasant situations with people on my course - two mothers in particular would often downplay my distinction grades and say that I only got the grades because I don't have children on my own. They're right about me not having children, but I worked 30+ hours on top of my course while still making time for training as I am involved in quite a few sports outside of college. What's funny is that these women would state that they are doing the Access course for their children, but then blame their grades on their children when they didn't get what they needed.

    I can't imagine how difficult it is being a mother (I'm 20, male), but working 30+ hours a week on top of assignments etc isn't exactly a walk in the park...

    It does get easier, JPO92. You'll meet some great people and some err... not so great people, but you'll manage.

    I'm slightly concerned that these sorts of attitudes seemed to be going on a lot of Access courses. I'm very similar to you, I'm 19, will be 20 next May and just hope that I won't experience this downplaying of your grades simply because you don't have the same commitments as other people. So many people go into the Access course for different reasons; to be honest, I think that's a fanastic aspect to the course as students are so determined!

    I have to say this thread has opened my mind for what may or may not come it the coming weeks (I start on Monday).
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    (Original post by bibliboo)
    As a parent I agree with your 'as a non-parent' point Jimmy xD.

    But yeah to the OP, you will get used to it , don't write it off just yet. If someone makes a point that you may agree with, try chipping in just saying that you agree with them, it works wonders for your confidence, it did for me anyway.
    I'm glad you agree. I was a bit wary about posting comments knocking (some) parents, since I don't want to make enemies unnecessarily - on here, or at uni. I hope my comments below don't offend you either, but I think it's fair to say them. Oh, and I didn't have any ex-soldiers on my course, but it's an interesting observation.

    (Original post by Kaeden)
    two mothers in particular would often downplay my distinction grades and say that I only got the grades because I don't have children on my own. They're right about me not having children, but I worked 30+ hours on top of my course while still making time for training as I am involved in quite a few sports outside of college. What's funny is that these women would state that they are doing the Access course for their children, but then blame their grades on their children when they didn't get what they needed.

    I can't imagine how difficult it is being a mother (I'm 20, male), but working 30+ hours a week on top of assignments etc isn't exactly a walk in the park.
    I didn't get any of those comments from mothers, and I'm glad I didn't, because if I had I would've probably made my tongue bleed I'd be biting it that hard. Perhaps it's an indication that the parents on my course are more comfortable with their life choices than the two mothers on your course are with theirs. Having children is a choice, and, quite frankly, it's idiotic to make a comment such as the one they did. That's like me struggling to finish a half-marathon in 2 hours and saying to someone who finished in 1.5 hours, "You only got that time because you don't go down the pub 4 nights a week like I do." In that scenario, I've made the decision to put my social life above my training, and the other person hasn't, hence they reap the rewards. It's one of the basic dynamics of life - choices have consequences.

    It sounds like you're clued-up enough to realise it already, but don't let those people get you down. They're the ones with the problem, not you. If you're feeling mischievous, you can always wait for them to start bemoaning about how difficult it is to get on with their work 'cos of the kids and then counter it with saying how much fun you had playing sport the other day . I resisted the urge to be smug, but tbh there were times when it would've been justified. However, in the long run, I suppose, it's probably better to just accept people's flaws and try to get on with them.
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    (Original post by jimmy_looks_2ice)
    I'm glad you agree. I was a bit wary about posting comments knocking (some) parents, since I don't want to make enemies unnecessarily - on here, or at uni. I hope my comments below don't offend you either, but I think it's fair to say them. Oh, and I didn't have any ex-soldiers on my course, but it's an interesting observation.


    I didn't get any of those comments from mothers, and I'm I didn't, because if I had I would've struggled not lose my rag. Perhaps it's an indication that the parents on my course are more comfortable with their life choices than the two mothers on your course are with theirs. Having children is a choice, and, quite frankly, it's idiotic to make a comment such as the one they did. That's like me struggling to finish a half-marathon in 2 hours and saying to someone who finished in 1.5 hours, "You only got that time because you don't go down the pub 4 nights a week like I do." In that scenario, I've made the decision to put my social life above my training, and the other person hasn't, hence they reap the rewards. It's one of the basic dynamics of life - choices have consequences.

    It sounds like you're clued-up enough to realise it already, but don't let those people get you down. They're the ones with the problem, not you. If you're feeling mischievious, you can always wait for them to start bemoaning about how difficult it is to get on with their work 'cos of the kids and then counter it with saying how much fun you had playing sport the other day . I resisted the urge to be smug, but tbh they were times when it would've been justified. However, in the long run, I suppose, it's probably better to just accept people's flaws and try to get on with them.
    Honestly, I'm well aware of the fact that I got distinctions because of the amount of effort that I put in. No tutor is going to give out distinctions unless a student earned it. You're not the first to say that you would've lost it if you were me - I just didn't bother to bring them up on it because it wasn't worth my time, and the last thing that I wanted to be doing at college was arguing with women who are 15+ years older than I am. I'm not the only person who they had issues with though, and they keep to themselves now that nobody wants to associate with them.


    (Original post by Amy. J S)
    I'm slightly concerned that these sorts of attitudes seemed to be going on a lot of Access courses. I'm very similar to you, I'm 19, will be 20 next May and just hope that I won't experience this downplaying of your grades simply because you don't have the same commitments as other people. So many people go into the Access course for different reasons; to be honest, I think that's a fanastic aspect to the course as students are so determined!

    I have to say this thread has opened my mind for what may or may not come it the coming weeks (I start on Monday).
    Don't be nervous because of my posts! Besides the two that I mentioned, I had no issues with any of the other mature learners and the group got along for the most part. My Access group sort of had a divide with the young learners going to lunch with each other and sitting beside each other, but that's only because the mothers/parents/older learners had much more in common with themselves than the 19-22 year olds on my course.

    Everyone should be going back to education for the same reason, and that's to progress to university. It's a shame that some mature learners are catty as it's what you would expect from secondary school students, but you'll find people like that everywhere I guess. /:
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    (Original post by Kaeden)
    Honestly, I'm well aware of the fact that I got distinctions because of the amount of effort that I put in. No tutor is going to give out distinctions unless a student earned it. You're not the first to say that you would've lost it if you were me - I just didn't bother to bring them up on it because it wasn't worth my time, and the last thing that I wanted to be doing at college was arguing with women who are 15+ years older than I am. I'm not the only person who they had issues with though, and they keep to themselves now that nobody wants to associate with them.




    Don't be nervous because of my posts! Besides the two that I mentioned, I had no issues with any of the other mature learners and the group got along for the most part. My Access group sort of had a divide with the young learners going to lunch with each other and sitting beside each other, but that's only because the mothers/parents/older learners had much more in common with themselves than the 19-22 year olds on my course.

    Everyone should be going back to education for the same reason, and that's to progress to university. It's a shame that some mature learners are catty as it's what you would expect from secondary school students, but you'll find people like that everywhere I guess. /:


    I was just shocked mainly that these sorted of attitudes went on in such an adult environment. Absolutely, I'd completely expect that. I think those divides occur quite naturally in FE as there are so many varying ages; so the older students gravitate towards eachother and younger students to younger students.

    I know there's been quite an influx of younger students onto the Access with the lowering of the entry age to 19 from 21 some years ago, but what are the age ranges of the younger students, in your personal opinion? Sorry if that's poorly worded, what I mean is the younger students are they aged around the early twenties and what are their stories for getting there? Although, I know there are younger students there, I haven't experienced the course yet so not sure what to really expect.
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    (Original post by Amy. J S)
    I was just shocked mainly that these sorted of attitudes went on in such an adult environment. Absolutely, I'd completely expect that. I think those divides occur quite naturally in FE as there are so many varying ages; so the older students gravitate towards eachother and younger students to younger students.
    I'm 23, I've been working in various different places so I know how dissapointingly immature some older people can be. I suppose in that respect I shouldn't be surprised by how opinionated they are, some adults really love to create drama where there needn't be any...
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    I start my course on Monday and the only bit I'm not looking forward to is the students..not that I hate people but I can just imagine their egos and the need to create ' cliques' from what I observed on the taster day.

    'As a parent I...' am not interested 😂😂😂😂😂

    No but seriously, I don't want to come across antisocial but I'm just so passionate about getting my head down and learning.


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    To the, younger students, don't worry at all. In my class there definitely was no divide age wise and younger female students that weren't parents socialised with older students in my class. My class actually all got on. There was a divide in my class at lunch I noticed, when people mainly sat with their friends. Age wise this divide was mixed believe it or not.

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    I can't say I noticed any age divide on my Access course. We all sat together at lunch, and the age range was from 18 to 48. Most people had time issues, whether that was children, working night shifts, or doing IELTS/GCSEs at the same time as Access. It's ridiculous to make assumptions about how much spare time other people have.
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    (Original post by Kaeden)
    Honestly, I'm well aware of the fact that I got distinctions because of the amount of effort that I put in. No tutor is going to give out distinctions unless a student earned it. You're not the first to say that you would've lost it if you were me - I just didn't bother to bring them up on it because it wasn't worth my time, and the last thing that I wanted to be doing at college was arguing with women who are 15+ years older than I am. I'm not the only person who they had issues with though, and they keep to themselves now that nobody wants to associate with them.
    I think you've got the right attitude towards it. Don't waste your time and energy trying to justify yourself to them - you only need concern yourself with your own efforts and how they're perceived by the people who count (i.e. your current college tutors and admissions tutors for unis you're interesting in applying to).

    I didn't have any particular problems with people on my Access course, but then I suppose I approached it from the point of view that it wasn't worth expending the time and effort having problems with people in the first place. Naturally, like most people I did have the odd whinge about folks here and there, but nothing that escalated any further than that - although some people's relations did get rather more strained than any of mine. But no Access students should be worried by any of this - by and large, everyone got on well with each other and achieved what they needed to on the course
 
 
 

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