Report Shows ‘Getting-by-Girls’ Put in Minimal Effort to Achieve Academic Success

The lives of what researchers are calling the “getting-by girls” was recently looked at in detail when a study was conducted by the University of California, Berkeley. This very specific group of female students is reported to only put in enough effort to skate by academically and instead focus their energies into their social lives.

The study was conducted by UC Berkeley, sociologist Michele Rossi and she explains getting-by girls as not being people “you would necessarily feel sorry for nor are they people you would consider important or enviable.” They are instead girls that would identify as slackers and will veer away from peers that are thought to be overachievers or competitive academically.

Rossi says, “These girls under-perform academically not because they lack ability, or self-esteem or good teachers. They under-perform because their white, lower middle class culture values sociability, and doing enough to have enough. In a high school context, this culture classes with an upper middle class culture that prizes striving and individual advancement.”

Willamette University freshman, Jessica Weiss, believes that there are a few contributing factors to the getting-by girl phenomenon. She theorizes that the pressures of social media and its focus on appearances and popularity may have a large impact on the mentality of college females. The other reason she suspects this mentality to be so common is due to the lack of needing much since many are supported by their parents.

Weiss says, “We have been completely absorbed by how others view how we live our lives. Our concerns shift away from out invisible achievements – test scores, how we do in class – because these are things that media have frames as ‘not cool’ to discuss.”

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