May 17th 2015
Today, for once, I helped someone else with their work. After 3 years of piggy backing off my much intelligently superior coursemates, I was useful to someone. My flat mate, who studies engineering, needed some help with a question that was pretty Maths-based. So naturally, because I study Maths, he asked me. And although it took 20 minutes out of my revision to help him with the question and explain it to him properly, I was happy to do it.
I was happy to do it because for three years I’ve taken help off my flatmates, I’ve asked them to explain things to me when they’re trying to revise themselves, I’ve copied their answers to homeworks when either I haven’t had time, or haven’t understood the work, last semester I basically only passed a module because of the help I got with homework. I failed an exam, but because I’d done well in the courseworks my grade was bumped up over the pass threshold.
I wouldn’t’ve got as high a mark in most of my modules were it not for the help of others. So damn right I’m going to help someone they ask something of me.
My flat/course mates don’t mind as much, because explain something to someone else is a pretty good way of getting your head round it yourself, so it’s almost like added revision having to explain it to me, but they get nothing out of doing a piece of Engineering work. But I was happy to help.
Firstly, because of the reasons I’ve outlined above. I should pay back the help that I have received,
And secondly, because it makes me feel smart.
For once I am the person that is explaining, I am the helper. I am the person that someone goes to with a question. I should point out that the people that usually help me, my flatmates, are in the top 5 of the year group, grades wise, so they’re pretty fucking smart. But always getting significantly lower marks than them, having to rely on them for help, having to have them explain things to me is pretty fucking demoralising. It makes me feel stupid sometimes, and I’m not stupid. I’m pretty intelligent, I’m 5/6th’s of the way through a Maths degree at one of the best Universities in the country, but I still feel like shit that I’m not getting as high marks as them.
It’s not that they work harder, or for longer, we leave for the library at the same time every morning and we get back at the same time every night. We’re together all day, we each work the exact same amount of time.
They’re just better than me. And I can accept that, I can, but today it was really really nice to feel helpful for once. To feel useful. To feel smart.
Until tomorrow, it’s nice to feel useful.