The rising issue of academic apathy

Guest Column

A growing trend has been sweeping across universities throughout the United States — students, especially undergraduates, are becoming less involved in both academics and extra-curricular activities.

This sense of apathy is just one way that students are wasting their time and money at college. If asked, the average college student (or parent) would most likely say the cost of college these days is too high.

Between rising tuition costs, expensive textbooks and the increased living expenses, it’s extremely hard to get out of college without at least a moderate amount of debt.

The expense of the traditional college experience has led to the rise and popularity of many online based schools, such as the University of Phoenix and Kaplan University.

While obtaining an online degree may be cheaper up front, the cost of losing out on the potential for personal growth makes an education received at a brick and mortar institution a higher value over all.

Extra-curricular involvement is highly important for students. For a student to truly profit from the advantage of attending a brick and mortar institution, they must be involved outside of the classroom.

A good scholar is active in pursuits beyond the purely academic.

Being involved outside of class helps students keep stress levels low and promotes personal development through new activities and meeting new people.

Of course, being involved in the classroom is equally important. Active participation in class shows the instructor that the student is interested in the material and may lead to research/internship offers, which are vital in any degree program.

Don’t just memorize answers. Anyone with internet access can read out a definition, but being able to take an idea and then apply it to life is a skill that separates the best students from the rest of the pack.

Remember that college isn’t supposed to be easy.

As science fiction author Robert Heinlein once said “do not handicap your children by making their lives easy.”

If the only logic used to select your classes is to pick the easiest ones, then you have already failed. Pick classes that will hold your interest and challenge you at the same time. This helps make classes less boring while still granting opportunities to excel.

College is the perfect time for a student to learn as much as possible, so don’t be afraid to take classes outside of your major.

There will never be a better time in your life to learn as much as possible and experience new things.

EUGENE ROBINSON 

Washington Post

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