Have you got a ‘Degree of Sympathy’? Here’s what to do with a 2.2

Some have nightmares about being seen in public naked. They’re lucky. Some can’t even get to sleep at all, because they’ve got to speak in public the next day. Some people never try anything in life because they are terrified of rejection.

Do you know what the student’s biggest fear is? Graduating with a 2.2.

Which is quite logical when you think about it, because getting a Second Class degree, of the lower orders, is like three nightmares rolled into one. It’s like a naked public declaration of your character which will lead to endless rejection.

Which is totally unfair. Maybe it’s time we re-branded the 2.2. I like to call it The Degree of Sympathy. You can judge people by their reaction to your 2.2. The good people will see the person beyond the certificate. And they are the only people worth working for.

The hard bit is finding them. The key is not to give up. Remember, those who cower in fear of rejection will never do anything. Your 2.2 – like the man in the Johnny Cash song called Sue – will be the making of you, because it gives you a daily challenge. It won’t kill you, so it can make you stronger.

Graduates tend to wallow in unnecessary self-pity and shame when they reveal their University results. They think that the 2.2 is the Degree of Doom (DoD). It’s a badge of dishonour they wouldn’t want to show their friends, let alone display it on their CV.

This is a mistake. If your mind thinks negative thoughts, your body will follow. Those who label themselves with the DoD will immediately define their experience at University as a complete waste of time and money. This puts them into extreme panic mode. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

Granted, some recruiters use the 2.2 as a benchmark for limiting the number of applications they receive. Well who wants to work for someone like that? You’ve dodged a bullet there. More importantly, there are many other employers who don’t insist on a 2:1 because they value a wide range of skills and experiences demonstrated on a CV.

Yes, it’s a natural human instinct to want to be the best. But 2.2 degree is not one of the characteristics that Charles Darwin identified as the hallmark of a doomed species. A 2.2 is not the end of the world – it’s the beginning of your challenge. Think of it as the challenge that will make you stronger. It is certainly not a fail. It’s a test you haven’t passed yet.

There are hundreds of self made millionaires that left school with no qualifications at all. They didn’t let other people define them. So why should we?

Besides, university is not all about the grade – the life experience is just as important.

However, it’s by our own perception of the degree’s status that we become the architects of our own demise.

This became apparent to me whilst I was studying at University. Students would discuss amongst each other what grades they were aiming for and what they would consider to be success. Nobody defined success as a 2.2 degree. (Having said that, every man thinks he’s the best footballer on the pitch, we all think we know how to run the world and everyone thinks they sing like an angle. Humans have an infinite capacity for deluding themselves!).

Knowing I was statistically in favour of achieving a 2.2 degree I went into panic mode. I starting doing what most people do when they want all their questions answered. I turned to Google and asked it the follwing questions.

Will I get a job with a 2.2 degree? Do employers look at 2.2 degrees? Have I wasted 3 years at University for a 2.2 degree?

That was my moment of discovery. Not the answers to the questions but the fact that there are so many other people out there, just like me.

There were multiple articles and forums posted online by 2.2 Graduates who were also looking for help. Suddenly, I could see what my mission in life was to be: to make it easier for 2.2 graduates and assist them in the difficult and unpredictable stages post university. It’s fate. Helping people is what

I was put on earth to do! So I created the first ever website that focuses entirely on 2.2 graduates – What2doWitha22.com.

We aim to inspire and assist 2.2 Graduates in the difficult and unpredictable post-university stages.

This can be carried out by offering 2.2 Graduates career advice, interview tips, and job opportunities. My mission is to help you to help yourself to take on this massive challenge and emerge stronger.

Why do I believe there is nobody better qualified to help you in this mission? Because… I know your struggle. You see, I’ve got a Degree of Sympathy.


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