Should ‘1st year’ count towards your degree classification?

I’ve been pondering over this question for a while lately. It’s a known fact that in most university courses the first year of your degree doesn’t count. It is a year for settling in, a year to learn your strengths and weaknesses and a year to get used to the level that you need to be at. But should it count towards your final degree classification?

I think it should – that may be because I’m doing well and I want my hard work to be at least recognised when I graduate for my degree. Sure, I’ve made some mistakes in my assignments, but in your degree aren’t you supposed to show progression? I’ve been maintaining a 60%+ average and I’ve been working hard, I think that should be recognised – recognition for me would mean that it goes towards my final classification. It would make others work harder if it did in my opinion. Too many people scrimp and scrape passes, if that’s what they want to aim for then that’s good for them, but it should count. People want the ‘best and brightest’ to come out of university and in some ways your classification shows this. If people are working hard to get their results then this should be reflected – some people push hard, sometimes beyond their limit to get what they want even in first year. Many lecturers say ‘enjoy yourself, the hard work starts in second and third year’. For those that ‘mess around’ in first year, second and third year may come as a shock. I can’t believe that next September (2016), that I’ll be graduating that following summer – 2017. I’d rather put the work in now so I know what it’s going to be like in my second and third year of my degree. Maybe I want it to count because I’m motivated and determined to try my hardest.

I’m not going to sit here and say that it indefinitely should count though, as I know the first year of university is essentially your foundation year – where everyone is brought to the same level. For some the first year of university is a big learning curve and they may not get the grades that they want – it would be unfair if it counted right? It would be. Some people are diagnosed with dyslexia in their first year of university, so may not know that they have it, others may be aware but may have brushed it off – it could leave them with fails or 3rd degree classifications in their assignments and exams until they get the right support – it isn’t their fault is it? No of course it isn’t. First year is also a chance to test the water…is this degree the right one for me? I won’t deny that this question has gone through my head a number of times…even in the past couple of days. We all doubt this when we are at university. First year is a chance to dip your toe in. Many people realise it isn’t for them and that’s fine – so any assignments you do should not go to your degree classification in case you dislike a module or the course (but at this point you would leave, surely?).

What if we could have an option? A choice whether or not we wanted our first year to count? I think it would make much better sense, even though I still think it should.

What do you think?

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