In class the other day, someone asked how what we were learning was going to help us get a job. This statement was shocking to hear. Although I realize many students are in college mainly because jobs now require degrees, I must have underestimated how many students do not care about what they are learning and simply do the minimum to get the degree. It is time to change that and create a generation that is going to positively use our great opportunity to make this world and ourselves better.
College used to be a place where the elite would go to better themselves. A place where the number one priority was to get better educated about the world and themselves. Now, although it is almost expected that one go to college to have a successful and fulfilling life, is it really worth the money if you are only just going through the motions? I guess since most students’ parents are paying for at least part if not all of their tuition, students don’t think twice before sleeping through their 8 a.m. biology class, or skipping a class late in the day on a Friday. Why would they? We have been taught through the movies that college is about sex, drugs and booze. We have been told by the classes before us that Thursday in college is not a school night, but one to be treated the same as a weekend evening.
People need to remember why they came to college and what the benefits are. Becoming an educated person should be much higher on students To-Do list. Do you want to be the person who is part of a few clubs, gets good grades and knows what is going on in the world? Or someone who rarely goes to class, drinks three or more nights a week, and then spends the rest of the time sleeping?
If people really dive into their education, getting a job will take care of itself. A good skill to have is simply carrying on a conversation with a potential employer. Consider that a large factor in getting a job is networking. They do say, after all, that it is about who you know. So if people know you as a very intelligent and interesting person, wouldn’t it be safe to say you are more likely to be brought as someone who might be a good addition to a work force? Someone who would fit in right away and easily adapt to the job at hand?
Thinking critically is also something that students need to understand as a vital tool of their education. Critical thinking allows one to question the world around them. This is how the world is changed for the better. Questioning authority and the laws that surround it is an important part of continuing to keep a society modern, but at the same time the people questioning authority need to be informed to have a chance of getting anything done. So before you blow off your reading or studying for that quiz, consider that you may be blowing off an opportunity to have an effect on your world.
So do not be afraid to skip out on a night of partying at a frat in order to better understand your class material. Feel okay turning down a drink or a smoke in favor of a good night sleep. Students at the University of Massachusetts should realize that while they follow the societal norms of college students, these norms can be changed. Do we want to be a generation of students that finds their worth in the amount of alcohol we can consume in one night? Or do we want to be defined by our interest and positive impact on the world around us?
I hope the majority of students prefer the latter.
Tim Drugan-Eppich is a Collegian columnist and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.