I learned a lot about college when I started attending four years ago. I wish I learned more in it. Here are 5 things that are the worst about the whole experience.
1. Being put into classes that didn’t matter in regards to my major.
I’m all for being well-rounded, but at what point will this economics class come full circle with my Bachelor of Arts degree?
In Australia and in many parts of Europe, degree programs are only 3 years long because you take fewer GenEds and more of those things called “relevant classes.” It’s a foreign concept to American universities, where they pretend that twelve years of education didn’t happen and start from the bottom.
I took accounting and didn’t learn applicable information for, y’know, life — until the last two days of class, when we briefly discussed taxes. All I could tell you from then is that popping out a baby gets you some money from the government, but that’s it.
2. Retaking classes that I already took in high school.
If I don’t understand American History after taking it in nearly every grade until now, what makes you think it’ll make sense now? What new value will you give me that I haven’t already learned? I can’t wait for another semester of learning how Andrew Jackson was a hero and the fight for civil rights ended with Martin Luther King.
Taking math again in college when I already had a satisfactory math score on the standardized test I used to get into your university in the first place should be enough. You’re not making me smarter by making me repeat a class. You’re putting me in a classroom that impedes my desire to learn. You’re putting me on autopilot as I review the same information.
It goes back, again, to finances. Accepting more high school credits not only makes things cheaper for students in the long run, it will make college more affordable for more people, meaning more people will be educated at a cheaper price, meaning more people will come to your university. Since we’ve established that’s what you’re really concerned about, rather than educating people I figured I should bring that point up.
3. Paying $300 for a book you use once in the semester.
There is no end to the confusion I feel at the start of each semester where my professors, who have been in school longer than I have, still require that I buy hundreds of dollars worth of books.
I thought you understood the struggle, Teach! Didn’t you feel that same frustration when your professor made you buy all those books? Why not provide us with a few readings a semester, totally free, so that you don’t make that sigh when we don’t get our books on time? It’s not our fault we’re avoiding the on-campus bookstore price in favor of an online store.
It can get even worse: the instructor who teaches straight out of the book.
I wouldn’t be here if I couldn’t read, so if that’s what the class is going to be, I’ll take a rain check — which I’ll use to pay for the overpriced book.
4. The lack of diversity on campus life and in the curriculum.
Those times when your world history class talked about Europe and America for 80% of the time.
Those times where you glossed over imperialism like it was a thing of the distant past.
Those things where White Rich Male History was the a requirement and African History was an elective.
You get the point.
5. That by the end of it all, I’m not sure if I’ll get a job.
There are papers I’ve written the day it was due and gotten an A.
There are tests I’ve studied for weeks and gotten C’s.
In every interview I’ve been in, I’ve never been asked about my GPA. It’s always been about my job experience — which I’ve only briefly dabbled in, because I’ve been in school.
But what do I know, American universities? After all, I don’t have a degree yet, and as such, I am rendered unintelligent by our society.