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viewpoint

Grading your college experience

| Friday, November 17, 2017

How do you weigh your college experience? This is a question that has been thrown around since people began attending universities. Is it by the job that you get when you graduate, by the grades you earn while going through college; is it how well the football team does while you’re there, or is it something else entirely? We are gifted an enormous blessing by being able to attend college, a blessing that many people can only dream of having. It is easy to become caught up in the buzz of school life and forget about that. But, what are we to do with this gift, and how can we best utilize our short time here to the best of our ability?

In trying to find the answers to this question I looked to other students around me for their input on the subject. After talking with them and gathering their thoughts and criticisms I came to find that there are three main schools of thought when it comes to making the most out of one’s college experience.

A majority of students subscribe to the thought that grades and assignments are paramount to getting the most out of your college experience. Grades, after all, carry a great amount of weight, not only in school, but translating to the real world as well. When considering potential full-time candidates one of the first things recruiters look at is a student’s grade history. Grades are designed to show how engaged and skilled a student is in a particular area of study, and thusly allow recruiters to evaluate knowledge without having to interview the candidate on the subject. However, the grading system has long been criticized for causing students to focus more on achieving the best grade, rather than learning the material to the best of their ability.

Another faction of students seems to think that while grades are important, they need to be matched with extracurricular involvement. These students conceded that they would be willing to take time away from their studies to ensure that they have time to experience life on campus and get involved in various clubs and organizations. The answers ranged from students stating that they diversify their involvement across multiple clubs, to students finding one club or organization and digging into that as much as possible. They stated that the reason they liked the outside clubs and experiences was because it gave them something outside of the normal classes and learning that is offered and opened them up to something else that they normally wouldn’t encounter.

The final group was vocal about weighing the relationships that they build as being the best way to get the most out of your college experience. Being in college, you are sure to be surrounded by a group of like-minded and motivated individuals, so why not get to know them? The group that stressed relationships really hinged on the fact that building relationships is a great way to grow in knowledge, and as a person. By meeting new people, you are opened up to new ways of thinking and different points of view that can develop you further as a person.

Now, whether you subscribe to one of these groups or none of these groups is not important. What I found after talking to various students across campus is that the best way to gain the most from your college experience is to do what you think is going to give you the best experience. This is one of the only places where we are free to make all of our decisions, and taking full advantage of that is what is truly important.

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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