THE BLOG

Why Facebook Only Causes Pressure and Shame for Those Graduating Without a 2:1

24/07/2014 12:04 BST | Updated 17/09/2014 10:59 BST

As I took a gap year, most of my friends are graduating this year, and sharing this moment with everyone on Facebook. Which is completely fine, I'm happy for them. Except for the fact that every time someone goes "Graduating with a 2:1!!" and gets an 82-like response, people who are graduating with less than this may tend to feel left out and ashamed due to the indirect clique it creates. It also causes those like me to feel panic at the possibility that I may not become a part of this group.

I'm going to be in my final year in September, and I'm feeling the pressure - now, more than ever. What if I don't get a 2:1? This is the question that everyone my age has running through their minds - and it's one that has been heightened by the pressure on Facebook to share your final degree classification, because everyone else is doing it.

It's easy to understand the mentality behind it - everyone shares the best aspects of their lives with the people they're connected to on Facebook. Why should graduation be any different? However, it's easy to forget the fear this invokes in people like me - not to mention the shame others might feel who didn't graduate with a 2:1 or higher.

I've got a few friends who have quietly told me they're graduating with a 2:2, and I've congratulated them. "Why?" they ask. "It isn't a 2:1, is it?"

And this is where the problem lies. People sharing their joy on Facebook indirectly puts down other people's achievements. Getting a degree should be cause for a universal celebration, not a sliding scale of emotion where those who don't receive what they think they're expected to get upon graduation sink into a pit of shame. Not to mention the fresh panic it evokes in those like me, who have yet to participate in the year of University that makes up the bulk of their degree classification.

Now, I'm not asking for people to stop sharing their achievements, even though it annoys me when people post every tiny detail of their "amazing" lives online - life has its ups and downs, and of course it's only the former that gets shared, for the most part. However, getting below the coveted 2:1 - not to mention the love those who receive a First get - makes others feel they can't share their success.

And it is a success - getting a degree has taken a lot of hard work. A 2:2 still reflects academic intelligence, and it's wrong that the people who are awarded this classification should be made to feel otherwise.

So what I'm asking is that people be a little more considerate - bear in mind that not everyone will graduate with the 2:1s and Firsts that seem to be the only socially acceptable classifications, and this shouldn't have to trigger shame for those who should be celebrating in exactly the same way.