It happens every semester. People start complaining about the amount of work they have to do for their classes. “It’s stressful,” they say. “How do our teachers expect us to study for tests, write papers, come to class, and take care of our outside responsibilities too?”
I don’t know the answer to that. However, when I was asked those questions again this morning, I directed the gentleman to page 65 in Crossing the Bridge: Succeeding in a Community College and Beyond. He’d already read that, he said, but he didn’t think I truly understood how hard it was to be a college student. Was I hearing right? While I stood there trying to decide exactly what approach to take, he told me that college was a lot harder now than when I was a student.
Fresh out of ideas, I encouraged him to reread the passage on page 65. Even back in the olden days when college was so much easier (?), this passage was true. Here it is:
When I told my friend Gary about my idea of writing a book about what it takes to be successful in a community college, he chuckled and said, “Hey, I’ve got a story for you.” He then proceeded to tell me about an incident in a math class he had taken at a community college many years ago.
Apparently, many of his classmates were angry about their grades, and one of the bolder ones spoke up to remind the teacher of how hard it was to be a student. He had other classes that he had to prepare for, and it was not fair that all tests seemed to fall on the same date. Not only that, but his English teacher had expectations for essays as well. Apparently satisfied with his assertion, he sat back to watch Mrs. Mack’s response. I’m sure he was surprised when she looked at him and calmly replied, “Welcome to college.”
The friend who shared the story earned a degree in Civil Engineering, and his teacher maintained her high standards. College is challenging, but it’s quite doable if students know and follow the guidelines and pointers to success outlined in Crossing the Bridge.
Tell me. What are some of the most challenging issues you’ve had to deal with while attending college, and how did you manage them?