It was a great read and a good topic to contemplate on. Go read his post to understand what exactly I’m responding to.
The “pecking order” might be one of the factors. But I’m not entirely convinced. I think the “social proof” factor which he mentioned at the end of the post is a much more important factor. The definition of “cool” changes from year to year.
Take for example, the gamers in third and final years, the hierarchy was well known, still the enthu was never down. There were many surprise new entrants once in a while fighting their way up. Also, take for example, the enthu level in pre-graduation days. i.e, the primary, high school, etc., classes. The hierarchy is pretty much set and stagnant there. But the enthu isn’t exactly on a decline year on year.
I think most of the people who enter graduation know all too well not to accept their positions in the hierarchy as a given. So, I don’t think it’s got much to do with competition.
I think students don’t exactly know what is expected of them (percentage marks) when they enter first year. So they try to get roughly as much as in their pre-grad days. But with time, as they settle down, they come to accept that 70% is also an okay marks and everybody else is taken that much anyway, so theres nothing much to feel ashamed about. There just isn’t much pressure to perform. So, only the truly interested stick on, while others move on to finding their interests or just realize their lack of interest. Many of them aren’t in it by choice anyway. Most wanted to be done with it asap.
There always has been a big percentage gap between the toppers and the average junta…. even if they have accepted their place in the hierarchy, there should have been some attempts to close the gap. Theres also not much effort to differentiate in the crowded ranges, because an hierarchy just didn’t matter in that range.
There were many other factors too for decreasing interest in studies, like the quality of teachers, better knowledge of “what matters”, desire to have girl friends and be cool etc.,