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7 Ways University Is Just Like Running a Marathon

As we edge closer to the London Marathon, it’s easy to be reminded just how similar university is to endurance running.

1. If you want to break the world record or get a first, you have to work hard.

Kenya’s Dennis Kimetto must have trained every day, just like the student who never leaves the library. They eat there, they brush their teeth there, and they even catch 40 winks there. But at the end of the day they’re the one graduating with a first.

2. There’s always that one student who is remembered by everyone for a particularly embarrassing moment. 

Paula Radcliffe may hold the women’s world record but most of us will remember her for the time she took a public wee in the middle of the London marathon. She resembles that student who may well be getting excellent marks, but we only remember her for that time she threw up in the middle of the dance floor.

3. There’s the underdog student who proves everyone wrong.

Just like Mo Farah who had only ever ran a half marathon before the 2014 London Marathon. He’s the guy that teachers thought would never go further than A Levels. But hey presto! He proves those them wrong and graduates with a pretty good degree.


4. Lots of people don’t train as hard as they should.

They thought they were invincible. 26 miles? Pfftt.. anyone can do that. Wrong. They pass out after the 3rd mile and have to be taken away on a stretcher. We all have distant memories of the crazy fresher we met who was out every single night until second term came around. Suddenly they were nowhere to be seen. Turns out Eat Sleep Rave Repeat isn’t the best way to get a degree.

5. There are many who adopt fancy dress and still manage to run most of the way.

Their 3 year degree is full of partying and fancy dress socials yet they still manage to graduate with the people they started with. Now that deserves a reward.

6. The walkers.

Remember when you started uni and there was that ‘final year’ student that everybody knew? Remember that same person still being at there three years later? This uni goer enjoys taking in the sites. They’re not bothered about how long it takes or how good their result is at the end of it. The taking part is what counts (even if your 3 year degree ends up taking 6 years).

7. But most people save their energy for a sprint at the end – the crammers.

If it’s October and you know you have an essay due in December, you will not even attempt to look at the questions until the day before it’s due. You’re the type of person who works better under extreme pressure.


University is a marathon – however you choose to run it, good luck. 

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