I have always been a diligent, hard working student. My GPA right now is 3.48. And I’ve worked very hard for those grades. But recently I have realized something about college, and about the people at my college particularly. Here are some examples, and then maybe you can see where I’m coming from:
Three guys, eating in the cafeteria, making their fantasy football picks.
“Dude, what did you do this weekend?”
“Not much, I wanted to go to XYZ fraternity, but couldn’t get in.”
“Yeah I know – at this school you have to prove yourself before you get the right to party.”
Oh gee… brilliant. And this is what you guys worry about? Another one?
In a 100 level philosophy glass. Freshman girl, tiny body – big hair. As the class discusses “The Plague” she sits laughing, out loud, at her phone. Then she raises her hand…
“Have you heard of FML?”
The teacher looks puzzled, trying to figure out what this has to do with the reading…
“You know, it’s a website where people write stuff that’s like… happened to them… and it means like… F my life… “
Teacher nods… still waiting for the connection…
“It’s really funny, like this one here…” AND THEN SHE READ THE WEBSITE TO US! And she did this three times. And when she wasn’t trying to read her stupid website to the class – she was giggling at the FML comments on her phone.
It was obvious that the teacher – who is a really decent guy, and a very good teacher – was struggling to keep his cool. This girl is constantly interrupting the class to announce how boring she finds it. That this class is stupid, she hates the readings (which I doubt she did any way), and that it is all a waste of her time.
And then, my last example. I observed a class today that was supposed to discuss a book that they have had over a month to read (a short novel).During the first 20 minutes of the class, only 4 people participated – out of 25.
The teacher got up, and left.
I have been guilty before of being unprepared for my classes. Don’t get me wrong, I completely understand what it is like to be in a class you don’t like, or to have so much homework that you can’t do everything. I also know that is can be fun to hang out with friends on occasion.
But I am becoming overwhelm with the number of students around me that are not active participants in their education. Their parents, or scholarships, are paying for their education – and they are wasting it!
I hope that I raise children that are active participants in their own education. I know so many kids that are just expected to go to college, so they go, and while they may graduate with a piece of paper, the majority of their learning is done in that last year as they struggle to make up for slaking off in the beginning. I hope to raise my children to have a love and passion for learning. But I also hope that if my child doesn’t think that college at 18 is the best thing for them, that I can support them in that. I have read many reports that show that people with work experience, and older students tend to have higher GPAs, and they feel more satisfied with their education, compared with the typical 18-22 year old college student.
I feel like seeing so many people slaking and hating their education seems to diminish the value of my education. Because these are my classmates. These are my discussion partners, my peer review partner. If they aren’t putting an effort into their own education – not only are they hurting themselves, but they are hurting me. The value of a degree is going down. Just like 15 years ago having computer skills put you above the other candidates, but now it is expected of every one. Now it seems like so many people are graduating with degrees that it’s not enough to set you apart from the crowd. Especially when it seems like the quality of education is decreasing. What really upsets me is that when all of these people graduate, and take these same attitudes, and these same habits into the work force these UT graduates will reflect on me, and all of the alumni before them.
I’m sorry to complain so much. It just hurts me to see so many people wasting the opportunity for an education.