Student takes wrong degree, doesn't notice for three months
A student who showed up for the wrong degree course didn't notice for three months.
Steven Matthews failed to notice for three months that he was on the wrong degree course, despite attending just about every lecture and seminar on offer.
He even managed to hand in a fairly decent essay, even though he had no idea what was going on for most of the time he was in classes.
He eventually realised something was amiss when he walked into the exam hall and found there was no seat in there for him, but instead of admitting his mistake he carried on attending classes for a further two weeks and told everyone in his class he reckoned he "got a 2:1".
"They kept talking about poems"
Steven, 18, was supposed to be taking philosophy at Oxford Brookes, but on his first day he showed up to the wrong room because he had misread an email from the University, and found himself with the creative writing cohort.
He looked so lost, clutching his little campus map, that another student (pictured above) gave him one of her timetables and took him around to show him the ropes. After that he tended to follow her around.
"She seemed to know what was going on," he told Student Money Saver. "So I followed her to the first seminar."
"I did keep thinking 'when is they gonna start talking about Aristotelian philosophy' but I assumed I was missing some link and didn't want to sound stupid. They kept talking about poems."
Steven, who says he has "no understanding of poetry" was understandably lost, but figured out a few tricks to get him through his seminars and look like he knew what he was talking about.
He began to perfect these skills over the next few, incredibly stressful, months.
"I asked everybody what Marx would make of this"
Steven not only didn't know anything about poetry, but since he wasn't officially on the course he wasn't being emailed the lecture notes, reading lists, and couldn't access the online journals that everybody else could.
"I was completely lost," he said. "Everyone else was getting emailed the reading list, but not me. I was completely panicked that somebody might ask me a question I couldn't answer."
Whenever someone did ask him his opinion, he used a genius method to deflect attention.
"Generally I just nodded, paused like I was thinking, and then asked everybody what Karl Marx would make of this. That usually bought me some time."
"If that didn't work, I'd say something about Freud and penis envy and that'd get the feminists in the group talking. They f*cking hated me, but they at least thought I'd done the reading."
“Out of my depth”
The months went on and Steven still hadn’t noticed he was on the wrong course.
“I knew something was amiss. I just thought I was completely out of my depth. Everyone else seemed to know what was going on and inside my head I just had no f*cking clue what they were talking about.
“Standard uni stuff.”
When he had his first essay he managed to download one with a similar title offline.
“I just kept changing the wording until the plagiarism software said it was ok. When I tried to submit it online they wouldn’t let me. That should have been a bit of a clue.”
“So I went into the office and told them there’d been an error. They looked at me like was a bit of a moron, but by then I was used to that.”
They allowed him to submit his essay like this, and when he got it back he was pleased he had managed to get a third, though he told his “classmates” he’d got a first. If anyone asked to see his essay, he’d act falsely modest until they left him alone.
“In retrospect I’m a bit of a f*cking idiot.” He admitted.
Steven ended up realising he was on the wrong course when he showed up for an exam and found that he had no seat.
“I walked in there, sweating and panicky and realised there weren’t any seats in there left and just walked right on out of there. In a way I was relieved, but in another way I was like ‘what the actual f*ck have I gone and done’. After that I just sat outside on the steps, sobbing to myself and eating a Twix.”
For the next few weeks he carried on attending the course but would “occasionally ask stuff like ‘so what do you think about Aristotle?’ Or ‘why are we talking about poems again?’”
Then he finally decided to fess up and approach the leader of his actual course, Philosophy, and beg for them to give him his actual place.
The uni have told him he could join his actual course in the new term, and have apologised to him for the “admin error”.
“I’m 95% sure I’m on the right course now.” He said.
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