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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Day 23: Something You Wish You HAD Done In Your Life

There's a recent survey out saying that over 50% of Americans don't feel that college students get an education equivalent to what they are paying for.  I would be part of that 50%.

I know my discontent with my college experience is due, in part, to my lack of enthusiasm as a student.  I wasn't an over-the-top, hardcore studier, in fact, I don't even know how to study.  School was never hard for me, even from the beginning.  From day one, there were very few classes that challenged me and I learned that I didn't really have to try to get good grades or learn the class material.  I graduated from high school effortlessly.  I could've had a higher GPA and class ranking, but considering all the other things I had on my plate as a teen, I think I did alright to just survive.

College was pretty easy, too.  I put about the same amount of effort into my collegiate classes as I did towards my high school curriculum because that's what I was used to doing.  I didn't really have to try hard.  There were very few classes I found truly difficult and I gather that, had I put the required amount of work into them, they could've been some of the most useful.  I wasn't accustomed to having to work in my classes, so my grades and learning in those courses was mediocre.

I wish I HAD been a better student. Maybe if I had been, I'd know what I want to be when I grow up.

Instead, I have a four year degree that I finished in three and a half years with a decent GPA.  The easy classes were numerous enough to pull my average up, despite the classes that required more effort than I knew how to give.

I wish I HAD known how to study.

While I know that you usually don't get more out of your education than you put into it, I don't know that there was a whole lot more I could've gotten out of it and for this I point a finger at my university.  Some of their graduates are successful in their field, but in my area of study, they are not, at least not from what I've seen.  The Writer is getting what is essentially the same degree from a state school nearby to where I graduated.  I see what he is learning, is required to learn, and what is available to him and I feel cheated.  I paid nearly three times to go to a smaller school with much more limited course offerings and degree requirements and I feel far less prepared to enter our field.  How does that work?
I graduated without being taught the importance or the how-to's of a resume cover letter.  I feel as though I fumble around the job search.  My school had a very blase attitude towards internships, therefore, I interned at a community theatre's costume shop.  It was fun but I don't feel like it helped me professionally. The Writer has secured himself a very prestigious and pertinent internship that will surely help him in the future.  I wish they'd told me.  Isn't that what your school and advisors are there for?

I wish I HAD transferred.

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