College: Fuel for senioritis
Remember the senior year of high school, when it seemed like the entire class was suffering from a serious case of senioritis?
Everyone, even the most neurotic overachiever, experienced a sharp decline in their motivation level and started giving their assignments a mere fraction of the effort than they had all throughout high school, to the point where some just stopped trying entirely.
After a year of being in college, it seems that senioritis never truly wore off. This behavior, rather than befuddling professors, is practically expected.
Thus, the university lifestyle appears to practically encourage this kind of dilatory mentality and ultimately fails to adequately prepare students for the workplace.
If (or, I daresay, when) students slack off in college, the repercussions probably only include receiving a poor letter grade in a class and occasionally having to retake a course or two. Essentially, people in college are allowed to select their performance level and still accomplish (hopefully) what they came there to do: earn their degree.
In the workplace, however, delivering such mediocre performance typically results in a one-way ticket to the unemployment office; one does not simply coast their way to the career of their dreams.
According to the Canadian National Adult Literacy Database, two of the primary reasons why employees are fired include little interest in getting work done, too many days off work and late starts.
This sounds frighteningly similar to the approach numerous college students take to their educational career; the habits they form now are sure to affect their abilities to consistently rise to the expectations of their employer.
Even though the workplace and the university both feature rather rigid environments in terms of regulations and requirements, it is often problematic for graduating seniors to venture out into such unfamiliar territory because they are not accustomed to receiving tasks with few or vague directions.
A study by the University of Connecticut found that the structure of the university education system does not prepare students for the highly demanding bureaucracy found in the workplace.
Assignments in college are (for most professors) are intelligible, relatively straightforward, and indicate definite expectations to receive certain marks. Tasks in the workplace, by contrast, are often rather ambiguous and require the individual to take the initiative to define what needs to be accomplished for the enterprise at hand.
Furthermore, the university’s choice to have students evaluated in terms of finals and midterms jeopardizes their performance in the longterm because this system does not encourage students to retain the information they have learned. This teaches students to cram for exams and then forget the material.
If students fail to actually learn anything in college, then the value of their educational experience is besmirched and their degree becomes mere gimcrack; they will leave the university lazy, in debt and unemployable.
So as you enter into finals this week, try to master the concepts you’ve been putting off all semester with the intent of gleaning what you can from it to permanently bolster your wealth of knowledge and future performance.
Contact Julie at Julianna.Roberts@asu.edu