Column: College should be challenge
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 18:05
With about a week left of college, I’ve been thinking about those things I wish I could have done — namely the classes I wish I had taken and the subjects I could have learned.
In some ways, I’m jealous of all the students who recently registered for their courses next semester. Depending on how long they have until they graduate, they have some time to check off courses on their college bucket list.
Yet during registration time, I heard far too many students schedule their classes around their level of difficulty instead of any real interest in the subject.
This might seem like a stupid thing to complain about. After all, I’m sure it could be argued that I’m free to take whatever courses I want. Yet, with little other than anecdotal evidence, I believe the inclination for some students to choose easy classes has some effect on future course offerings. Those classes fill up, while other classes that are difficult, but far more intellectually rewarding, barely have enough students to survive. As a result, easy classes come back semester after semester, sometimes with multiple sections, while much better classes disappear into the academic ether.
It frustrated me to have to deal with this each year. College shouldn’t be a time for us to be coddled and bribed with fun field trips and diorama projects. We should be taking it as a chance to challenge ourselves and step out of our comfort zones. Sometimes our classes should make us feel uncomfortable and force us to think about issues we didn’t know existed. They should also make us work hard.
If you’ve come to Loyola with everything figured out, congratulations. For the rest of us, our education should allow us to explore our interests and find what we’re passionate about. If we’re only being reminded of things we already knew, then we’re being failed.
As much as it’s our responsibility as students to get the most out of our education, I would also like to call on the university to be tough on us and demand the best. Classes shouldn’t be catered to the people sleeping in the back of the room, the ones who don’t even bother to change out of their pajamas.
As a soon-to-be alumna, I want my Loyola degree to be an indication of academic excellence in 10 years. I’m already bracing for the reality check that is life after graduation. I don’t need it to be any more difficult because I was pampered in college with far too generous make-up policies and extra credit opportunities.
It’s a shame that not enough people see the value of learning in college. We’re fortunate to go to a university with so many professors who are experts in their respective fields and passionate about the subjects they teach. Why not recognize that when picking courses? So take some risks. Try a class in women’s studies or Middle East Peace studies.
This is the last time we’ll get to learn about a wide variety of subjects. Yet college is also a chance to prepare for “the real world.” Embrace challenges. At least life after graduation will be slightly less terrifying if you do.
Masako Hirsch is a mass communication and French senior and the former editor in chief of The Maroon. She can be reached at email@example.com
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