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I Thought You Were Going to Fail?

Imogen Clarke calls your bluff.

Results are out, in case you didn’t hear, although given Yik Yak appears to be on the verge of death it’s no surprise if you haven’t. So how did you do? How you thought? Better? Worse?

And how about that one person who was so adamant they were going to fail (despite getting 17+ on every exam and piece of coursework up to this point)? Of course they passed, and of course it’s irritating.

Every class has one. They nail every tutorial and seminar, they smash their coursework essays, and they might even be irritating enough to point out every mistake you ever make, just for good measure. That hand raises faster than a fresher’s blood alcohol level. Bottom line is they know their shit, and they want as many people as possible to recognise that.

But let revision and exams roll around, and they can’t shut up about how they’re going to fail. Supposedly they’ve not done any of the reading (yeah right), they’ve barely started revising and the exam is in two days (pull the other one), and they “always do badly in exams regardless of how much they study (utter bullshit). Personally, I find the most irritating aspect of this speech in how blatant the lies are. I mean, if you want attention and sympathy from people who are going to massage your ego by telling you how utterly amazing you are, at least be convincing about it.

Now, some people are naturally humble and modest, but they’ll often avoid the entire exam/results conversation altogether. It’s not about gaining attention or pity. They just don’t naturally like to promote themselves. Telling the world you’re going to fail when you (and the world) know that you won’t isn’t modesty, it’s an irritatingly obnoxious form of self-flattery.

And it doesn’t end there…

The exam itself has finished and, as if on cue, they’ve turned on the waterworks. The paper was a disaster. None of the topics they revised came up. The questions were so difficult to understand. Blah. Blah. Blah. Over the following weeks, up until results are finally released, they’ll tell whoever will listen how worried they are, how they’ve ruined their degree and how they’ll almost definitely be at resits. It’s getting a bit boring isn’t it?

Surprise, surprise when results are released you don’t hear a word from them. A friend of a friend tells you they scored their standard 17+ (and of course, they don’t know how they managed it given the disaster it was) and all is quiet and peaceful in the world. At least, until the next exam diet.

So please, don’t be that person. If you feel confident, if you understand, if you nail your exams and coursework, then own it. Trust me, we’ll admire you for it. We’ll ask for your advice, maybe even for a little bit of tuition. We’ll hang onto your every word in tutorials, giving you all of that attention you apparently crave so much.

Being intelligent is a good thing. Attention seeking by trying to deceive people, however, isn’t so appealing. The more you do it, the less people actually care. And that kind of defeats the point, doesn’t it? Time to find more intelligent ways of seeking attention.



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