This has been, by far, the best semester I’ve ever had! I have great professors, great classmates, a decent workload, and I’m learning a lot. I think I’ve learned more this current semester than I ever have! I look at my little classmates (lol), and I see how anxious they are to get out of school and graduate. They’re barely paying attention in class. All they care about is what’s on the test and getting a study guide. There’s no sense of appreciation or flare for learning. It’s like, give me the stupid piece of paper so I can jet! I felt the exact same way the first time around, and I didn’t understand that mindset until now.
Traditional college students go straight from high school to college. Before high school there was junior high school. Before junior high school there was elementary school. Before elementary school there may have been preschool. Before preschool there may been “Your Baby Can Read,” Leapfrog, or whatever. That’s a lot of school! By the time a child gets to college, the poor kid is close to mental burnout! She can’t take anymore school and all she wants to do is be done with it. I can definitely identify with that!
Now that I have been away from school for sometime, although school has definitely made my life more crazy, I have a fresh perspective. My brain is near empty and can stand to have some things poured into it :-). And, especially because I’m learning about things that are important to me and/or things that would serve me well to know, I’m more inclined to pay attention and be engaged in the learning progress. Every time someone asks, “is this gonna be on the test,” I feel myself getting frustrated and I want to turn around and ask, “SHOULD IT MATTER??” I have to remind myself that, a. I was there once, and b. they haven’t had my experiences. To be honest, I’m really not that much older than they are, but it is amazing what a few short years in the “real world” can do for you.
Here’s my public service message to you parents out there: now that I am having the college experience all over again, I’ve changed my mind about some things. If your junior or senior is having some doubts about life, or whatever, and they are considering delaying college for a couple years, I would let them do it. Don’t push them to go to school right away if they don’t feel they’re ready. A little break may serve them well. School is serious–it is their job. And, if students want to excel, they need to be fully dedicated to it. It’s very hard to be dedicated to something you’re unsure of. Trust me–I know! Listen to your child and don’t force them to live out the dream that YOU have for them. It could turn out to make a world of difference!