Saturday 13:54, Shoreditch Grind, Old Street, London
I’m about to moan so consider yourself warned.
One of the things that used to irritate the hell out of me at university was other students’ notion of superiority. These students were everywhere. There was Julie and her arty friends from the Musical Society, who air kissed themselves like there was no tomorrow and who made it perfectly clear they were it and you were definitely not. There was that annoying, spoilt third-year medic, her name escapes me (thank goodness), who boasted about her research project. I vividly remember the whole thing as if it were yesterday. ‘This is what a real research project looks like‘, she mocked us third-year science students as she disappeared down the corridor with what must have been a printed edition of the internet. And then, of course, there were those annoying students who claimed they never did any work whatsoever but somehow, miraculously, ended up with top marks.
Fast forward 20 years and you would have thought that this behaviour, utterly demoralising to us mere mortals who have to work out asses off to get top grades, would have died out. But no. It’s still lurking around, like some foul smell, poisoning our minds with supremacy, delusion and malice.
Like the other day. We had all submitted our essay on managing marketing. And as per usual a bunch of us moaned about how boring/underwhelming this module had been. When I asked to predict our scores, everyone low-balled it, claiming that they would either fail or get a very low mark, but lo and behold, top marks again all round. And to add insult into injury a fellow student claimed she only spent 30 minutes on her research proposal and scored 7/10. Yep, the same research proposal I spend days writing. Days!
What’s the point of all this? Why do otherwise intelligent people turn into complete knobheads when it comes to academic work? Is it an English thing? Or does this prevail in our entire civilised world? I just don’t get it.
As professionals the notion of appearing better than everyone else will get you nowhere and is a sure way of alienating yourself from your team and peers.
Nobody likes it. So stop being a twat.