June 3, 2023

College standards and contradictions

In the beginning of the school year at NCC, students get the talk which involves all the do’s and don’ts as they prepare for a fresh semester in college. These are established as society standards and contradictions which go hand-in-hand with the college lifestyle.

As a student, you’re expected to do one thing or act a certain way, then you get advice telling you to do or act a different way. On the other hand, you should go out and have fun, but stay up all night to finish a paper or study for an exam.

Students in the Resident’s Hall are gathered for meetings that give them the ins and outs of being a college attendee. The meetings are conducted by Residence Hall Directors, Mentors, and RAs, in various locations like Res hall lounges, the cafeteria, outside on the basketball court, and sometimes in the College Center.

Most students get the rundown from professors, mostly on the first day of classes. They repeatedly say, “do the work”, “go to class”, “work hard”, and everything in between, sometimes as a warning, because failure to do this can face academic probation or get kicked out of school. After that, they say, “don’t forget to have fun” or, “get involved as much as possible”.

Part-time student, Jerith Tousey Schmidt, a Communication Design New Media major says, “I think they set standards too high even for part time and full-time students. Personally, I have had to take time off work for my classes because the school demands for four assignments in different classes due the next day even the workload is for a longer period of time.”

Students are under the constant pressure to attend every class, keep their grades up, join one or more clubs or on-campus organizations, and find a job, all the while they should have a social life, eat healthy, get 8 hours of sleep every night, and keep their mentality in check.

For a full-time student living in the dorms, it’s worse because according to administration and the school board, they must take at least 12 credits to be eligible for housing, and make sure to keep them or they get booted. Despite there being just 24 hours in a day, college students are expected to stay on top of all these tasks and keep themselves together.  

Freshman student, John Diaz, although not a student that stays in the dorms, gave his input on the matter. He said, “The standards set by the school system are extremely high compared to our actual lives. We have work, school, and other activities that we go through every day and have no money to do any of it.”

Students are told to slow down and take their time but should make sure all the work gets done on time and right. They should pursue their dreams and study their passion, but that passion must bring in enough cash for you to survive.

At the end of everything, the general public says and thinks college is the best time in a person’s life. It sets a high standard for people who aren’t attending college and when they finally do, they get to see it’s not all rainbows and unicorns.

Truth is, students just have to have a list of their priorities. Having priorities is a great way to find the balance they need, like choosing to finish a five to eight-page paper during the activity period rather than going to a club. Because some of the things they’re told to do, aren’t always necessary. Of course, it’s important to get involved, but there will always be something that’s more important. There are going to be things that will be sacrificed as a person goes through college, like leisure or hobbies.

Things that brought happiness to someone before college, they’ll find little time for them because of concentrating more on enjoying the “college experience”, getting involved, and keep up with their assignments. Generally, students will put less effort into the latter, or wait until the last minute, and this sometimes ends with kids getting kicked out of college, or not doing well, when they focus more on the fun side than the academics.

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