06 May, 2010

Clinging to College

Frankly, I think this will anger some people. But TOO BAD.
I've discussed before my issues with people clinging to their parents: living with them past the age of 25 (and even then, not working or contributing), maintaining an account on their parents' cell phone bill past the age of 21, not having a drivers' license so their parents must transport them, not having a job while living with their parents, allowing their parents to pay their bills when they move out or while they're living with them, not paying rent of any sort, going to school on their parents' dollar while not working to maintain their social life (instead borrowing money from mommy and daddy), etc. I'm judgemental on that count. Yes, I got married early, and while I have borrowed from my parents, I've paid it back. I've had dinner at their houses, but also did errands or babysitting or something else in return. I moved out at 18, and they were no longer responsible for any of my livelihood.
I'm seeing something that bothers me lately, and that is people continuing to go to college (or "uni" or whatever one prefers to call it) for years and years, building up either student loans, wasted grants or scholarships, or burning their parents' savings, past what is necessary and ending up not contributing. Everyone has heard of the mythical ten-year-students who never finish their degree (Van Wilder, Blutarsky from Animal House), but the fact is, these people are out there. It's not based on a myth anymore. I call them "perpetual students". The fact is, it can pay to be a student - in some cases, free health insurance (or cheap health insurance), cheaper room and board (or room and board covered by scholarships), summer internships, etc.
Now, I know you have to pay back school loans, but that's yet another failing of the forever student - eventually, it has to end, but the lifestyle doesn't.
The attitude is what I'm talking about. As much as I'm somewhat bothered by perpetual students (and some of it, to be truthful, is jealousy - my chances to be a full-time student and go to school for a long-term degree were dashed primarily because of health issues), the big thing is the attitude. The worst part is that they don't have to be in school for longer than a year or two for it to happen - they settle into the attitude, and even if they finish just a year past their planned end date, they maintain the attitude.
"I just have to get a C or something, so it's no big deal."
Perpetual students don't always try. Some do, I know, but a lot of them - especially those going to cheaper colleges, I would imagine - but not all. They'll skip classes to the maximum allowed. Bail on every homework, then turn in crap work at the last minute. They won't study enough for class, but will get just enough of a passing grade to keep it up.
I am not a perpetual student. I try for my grades. Sometimes not as hard as I could for some classes, but most of the time, I really do care about my grades and I work for them (my current GPA is a 3.4, which is not too shabby, I don't think.).
"What's the test on again?"
Perpetual students don't pay attention. I multitask sometimes in computer classes, but I listen to what the test is on, take notes, and answer questions (and still raise my hand - a habit I cannot break, and that gets me funny looks). They drift off, or don't take notes, or don't retain because they don't care - I don't know. What I do know is they're constantly lost when it comes to what is going on. They don't turn off their phones in class. They snack. They text or step out for extended - as in 1/2 hour - breaks, and class is either delayed or disrupted. They're late a lot, too.
"Oh, I was going to, but I had a thing last night."
The "thing" is almost always a party or night out. Google, it frustrates me. Why are these people so high in demand that they party almost every weeknight? Who the hell CAN party every weeknight? Even so, if they have homework and it's either do the ten minute assignment or party all night, why can't they be adults about it and do both? Why is that so hard?
Am I the only one who sees this? Or is this just the attitude of only community college students? I see it in all age groups, and I've definitely seen the attitude in people of all demographics.
They see drinking with people as the best way to socialize. They don't want to join professional organizations unless it involves social events and sports, or the chance to go to expensive conferences where they barely pay attention. They want to skate by in their life with no effort made.
I know my job is not "hard" by most people's standards. It's hard for me. Sometimes I have to deal with difficult situations.
I have never experienced the college life. Maybe I'm missing something. However, I really have trouble with this, because it doesn't just impact their lives (even though it annoys me that people would waste their lives like that) but it impacts mine, too. These people get picked over me for jobs - they're fun-loving and perky or "so laid back" or charismatic. These people disrupt MY education by pushing teachers to cancel class, being disruptive, or just generally not giving a crap about class enough to contribute. They get scholarships that I can't get because I'm part-time, but they aren't contributing to society or the economy, so I have a hard time understanding why they're getting them. Maybe in five-to-eight years they'll contribute. They aren't contributing now.
I suppose I'm crazy, and just being a jerk and a judgemental bitch, but it's killing me.
Another text - URGENT! "Is the test tnit just ch 1 through 6 for acess or excel?
I took notes, and paid attention, and I remembered. Why didn't you?

1 comment:

  1. I don't think the lifestyle is as bad as you get to better schools but friends at Pitt got fed up with students there that did the same thing. I barely knew of any that did that at RPI.