On Students’ Attitudes

utaAs I was walking around campus earlier this week, I overheard a conversation between some students. From what I gathered, they were working in some sort of investigation – at least this is what I assume, given that they were talking about “justifications” and “populations and samples”. The group appeared angry at one of their own, a young lady of 18 years of age. One student – a woman who appeared to be in her 30s – was specially angry. As I approached them, I overheard the older woman say “… and you’re so irresponsible! I’m not going to deal with you anymore!” The following conversation then took place:

Young Student: “What do you expect me to do? I’m 18 I’m just doing this for the first time. I don’t know how this works.”

Older student: “I expect you to do the work you’re assigned. We met and you had one section – just one section – and you didn’t do it. You’re irresponsible and I will have no more to do with you!”
Young student: “I don’t care, you can do whatever!  I ain’t come to the past 5 classes I don’t know what to do! What do you expect me to do? Come to all the classes? Hunt you down to know what to do? I’m 18 and I have other things to do…”

I then went out of earshot.

So, what should she have done? Exactly what she suggested. She should have gone to all the classes. When she didn’t understand the project, or found herself lost, she should have hunted down her classmates or the professor to ask for guidance.

Here’s my comment to all incoming university freshmen: BE RESPONSIBLE.

College is not like high school. In high school – specially in low income sectors (regrettably) – you pass a class for showing up and keeping your head down. Not that it’s any different in private schools, where they pass students because “they are paying to pass”, as I was told in three different interviews in three different schools. So what happens in college? If you don’t participate in class discussions, you fail the class. If you don’t do your work WELL, you fail the class. If you don’t show up, you fail the class. For you to pass a college class, you must attend, participate intelligently, and perform admirably. Anything else will get you a mediocre grade at best, and most likely an F.

So please, do hunt down your classmates and ask them of the class projects. Do hunt down your professors and ask them questions. Do attend all classes. Do hand in your work on time.

In short, do be responsible.

*NOTE: The image in question does not have the students in question. It’s just an image with random undergraduate students from my home institution.


About Quijano

Johansen Quijano is a professor of English in The University of Texas at Arlington, where he is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in English. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), a Master’s Degree in Curriculum and Development focusing on TESOL, and a Master’s Degree in English Literature. He has published and presented on a variety of topics including video game studies, popular culture studies, education, teaching methodology, language acquisition, romantic poetry, and victorian literature. His research interests include the above-mentioned topics, narrative, interactivity, simulation, new media in general, and 18th century literature. He also enjoys creative writing (fiction, historical fiction, and poetry), and reading all kinds of epic literary works - from the Epic Poem of Gilgamesh to Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series.

Posted on December 8, 2012, in Education Commentary and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Hear hear. College, although still a bit removed from “real life,” is not high school anymore. Responsibility is actually required in order to do well.

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