Student Voice


April 25, 2024




Education lives up to expectations

March 29, 2007

When applying to colleges, some may expect to have the time of their life while receiving a quality education. Others in this day and age tend to take the opportunity to attend a university and the offerings of wisdom from instructors for granted.

To me, higher education is not a given, but an honor—an honor many students don’t understand these days. For some, college is just the logical next step after graduating high school—no questions asked. In the 70s, when my parents graduated high school, college was only an option, not a prerequisite for a good job. Neither one of my parents had the opportunity to attend college since they did not come from wealthy families. When I realized I would be able to obtain a higher education, I jumped at the chance, knowing full well I would be thousands of dollars in debt as a result.

Every time I glance around a classroom and see a fellow student who is stealthily sending and receiving text messages, I can’t help but wonder why they even bother coming to class at all. Granted their presence can probably be attributed to the fact that some professors will fail students if they miss more than three class sessions, but, either way, it’s still disrespectful. Now, I’m not saying I’m completely innocent in this respect either, but I tend to take advantage of texting during a film, not while a professor is trying to engage his or her students. It seems that students today don't care that every minute spent in class is costing them—or their parents hard-earned money.

One problem with students of this generation is their need to be entertained at all times otherwise they lose interest. Due to video games and television, attention spans have become almost nonexistent. For professors, this can pose as an obstacle in the teaching process. Instead of lecturing during classes, instructors have been forced to utilize movies or other hands-on interaction to keep students’ attention.

Some professors resort to forcible participation in order to engage students, which I think is a terrible idea. When a student does not raise his or her hand in response to a question, it doesn’t mean they don’t want to speak in class—it simply means they don’t know or are unsure of the proper answer. This is most likely due tone of two things: poor teaching methods on the professor’s part or the students’ inability to keep up with reading assignments. This may not be the student’s fault either, so forcing them to answer questions is not an effective teaching technique.

Students nowadays have many things going on in their lives, whether it be athletics, personal issues or multiple jobs to support themselves. One thing sets this generation apart from past generations is the desire to be independent. In decades like the 70s, college students usually had one main focus: school. Parents typically supported their children while they received an education. Most college students now tend to live on their own and some even pay their way through the higher education system.

Now that I prepare to embark on the next journey in my life and get a real job, I have found that instructors were not the only ones who assisted me along the way. By taking the initiative to get involved with campus media, I have been able to build up a resume that will be a crucial factor in my success in becoming part of the workforce. Any extracurricular activity will impress future employers and will immediately bring your application to the top of the pile. It just goes to show that when it comes to a well-rounded education, involvement outside of the classroom is just as important as participation in the classroom.

Jennie Oemig is a student at UW-River Falls.