So my holiday is over and I must go back to work. My husband doesn’t go back until the 16th, lucky butt.
Just to give you an idea of the stupid I encounter with my new job, I’ll check my work email. Oh, look! Two students emailed me. One on the first Saturday of break, and the other on the Sunday before Christmas. Seriously?
Student #1 is asking me which classes to take. Again. It’s the third time. Or is it the fourth? I don’t know. He needs a specific core requirement fulfilled, and there are only 7 or 8 courses that will fulfill it. All of them are closed. Because he didn’t come get advising until the week before winter break. They’ve been able to register since, like, late October. So I have no sympathy for him. His email said, “All those courses are full. What do you suggest I do now?” Uh, I suggest picking a different class. If you can’t fulfill the requirement this semester, there’s always next semester. I swear, they just want me to hold their hands through college. I didn’t have an advisor at my college, not a real one. I had a professor that sort of knew the requirements, but it was up to me to pick all of my courses and make sure the requirements were fulfilled. Once I declared my major in my junior year, the registrar did an audit and gave me an official list of what I still needed in order to graduate, but until then I did everything myself, and I graduated on time. These kids have the same sort of access to the degree requirements and course listings as I did (maybe even more so than I had), and they can’t tell their heads from their asses. Seriously. What the fucking fuck?
Second email… I am deciding the fate of a student on academic probation and on the Monday before break I told her to take a few days to decide what her goal would be if we allowed her to return. I emailed her on Thursday trying to see if she needed help, no response. Didn’t hear from her on Friday. She emails me on Sunday and seems to have half-assed her plan for returning. *sigh* I want to be generous, but I’m going to have to discuss her situation with the dean before making a decision.
Bottom line, some of these kids shouldn’t be going to college. They’re there because they are expected to be, or because they don’t know what else they should do. But a lot of these kids won’t ever graduate. They’re wasting their time and money. I looked at myself today and thought, “How much better could I have done in school if I had waited a year or two before starting college?” The answer, I believe, is “much, much better.” I wasn’t mature enough to do what I needed to do in college until my junior and senior year. I dicked around in my first two years and my GPA suffered greatly because of it. And now I have a degree that I won’t pursue further, because I am no longer interested in that field. And I graduated with a 2.8 GPA. It’s a shame. Had I waited a little bit, grown as a person outside of my parents’ influence, and matured before beginning college, I feel as though I would have had a better idea in mind for my future.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m happy with where I am right now. I plan to pursue a Master’s in Sociology when I have the opportunity (hopefully in the next two years) and I would have never met my husband had I not done what I did. But I do wonder what kind of person I would be, had I not gone to college immediately just because I was expected to.
I guess my point is, it makes me sad to see so many students who are clearly not mature enough to really make the most of their college education. They don’t know enough about themselves to know what they want to do with it, and they spend the first three years figuring out that they can’t or don’t want to do what they started college for. Then they waste more time and money taking other classes when they change their majors. I see so much desperation in so many faces. “I just want to graduate already,” they say. I know, kids. I know.
There are many gems in my student base, but most of them are frantically scrambling to slap together a degree so their parents won’t think they’re failures. Or so their parents won’t remove funding. Or a variety of other reasons, which revolve around other people and not themselves. Continuing education should be about doing something YOU want to do, not what other people expect you to do. I wish I had known that when I entered college. And I wish it wasn’t such an idealistic thing to say. Relationships with others do matter, so on some level you can’t just do whatever you want without consequences.
Meh, I’m just talking in circles. I do like my job. I really do. I just see myself in so many of my students, and I wish there was something I could do for them.