Being smart at school doesn’t mean you’ll be smart at uni
Hero student to zero student, it’s quite the come down
The best thing about school was being the best in school. Now, at uni, everyone was the best in school, they all got amazing grades. That A* you’re really proud of? No big deal.
You may have been an elite minority at school, but here, you’re one of thousands. And you know what? It sucks.
Ever sit in seminars and just draw a blank when everyone else seems to know exactly what they’re talking about, as if they’ve just written their thesis on it? You’ve done the work, the reading, the preparation, but then you get in there with everyone throwing great ideas around the room, and all the preparation abandons you. You’ve probably thought on more than one occasion: “How do they know so much?”
If a question flies your way, you might manage an “urr, I’m not sure”, or maybe say something instantly regrettable when questioning eyes and raised brows are upon you. What happened to the days where you could grunt disagreement at everyone else’s ideas?
But it’s not just in seminars, it’s with friends too. The pub quiz can be particularly nightmarish. General knowledge is strong around the table, but not from you. You thought Sydney was the capital of Australia and Churchill won the Nobel Peace Prize, when obviously he won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
A round relevant to your course? All eyes on you then, as you must be an expert. Unsurprisingly, it’s a total flop. A History student who doesn’t know the ins and outs of the Norman Conquest? A Maths student who only knows pi to five decimal places? Shame on you.
Having super smart friends makes for great conversation, and is a breeding ground for interesting trivia. But you still feel out of your depth, and regret binge-watching Netflix when you should have been brushing up on your current affairs, to sustain you in intelligent conversation.
Everyone at uni just seems to know so much. It’s not a bad thing – it’s the reason everyone is here – but the descent from top student to decidedly average takes some getting used to.