Sometimes I wonder what my students are thinking. Even though I’ve been a student myself, for the past 5 years, I am a different kind of student. An entirely different animal, if you will. A returning, adult student definitely has dissimilar priorities. I’m grateful to be learning. Unlike, 17-26 year olds, I’m not worried about my social life or how much time I have to spend in class or how much effort I have to put into my assignments or how I can minimize work time and maximize play time. In other words, my concerns are about learning, gaining knowledge, being better at what I do and actually improving as a human being. But I wasn’t always like this. I get it. In my undergraduate studies my priorities were very much in line with a traditional-aged college student. I earned at least one “C” six of the eight semesters I attended. Not exactly stellar, eh.
I’m not sure why most students tend to fritter away the opportunities afforded them by a university education, especially if they aren’t occupied by “real-life struggles” like taking care of kids, bills and working. I get that those working for “food and shelter” may be primarily interested in the ends (a degree) rather than the means (the coursework) but what does it really take to engage in one’s studies? I mean, really…if I could advise the 18-year-old me with the present-day me, I’d say--appreciate the struggles and the hard parts as much as you enjoy the joys and the easy parts, because ALL of it is the living part. Sorta cliché, but it has kick. Be grateful to be learning.
My two cents…
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