June 22, 2012
Paper 2 (Post-grade Draft) - What you make of it.
In the face of rising tuition costs, choosing to attend college has come into the limelight. In her essay, “The Case Against College”, Caroline Bird argues that college is not for everyone because interviews show that most college students are getting nothing from college. If her point is to be believed, we would conclude that it is simply not beneficial for everyone to attend college. But while Bird is correct on this point, her essay proves nothing of the sort. What one must garner from Bird’s essay is not whether or not people should attend college, but rather that college is not a solution in and of itself. After all, college alone does not truly improve the quality of life of a person. The problem with the students that Bird interviewed was not that college was a waste of time for these students, but that these students had made college a waste of time for themselves. So the real solution, then, is the adage we heard as incoming freshman, that “college is what you make of it”.
What Bird had observed, but not identified, was that students did not attend college with the right tools. My freshman year is the perfect example of this as I left for my father’s alma mater, the University of California, Davis (UCD). My lack of discipline quickly led to me flunking out. Why? Well, as Jeff Winger, an ex-lawyer from my favorite television show Community said, “the funny thing about being smart, is that you can get through most of life without doing any work.” And because of that lack of work, I had never developed the discipline necessary to succeed in college. So how does this apply to the students Bird interviews? Well, the only difference is that while I had flunked out, they had done the bare minimum. Which is to say, they barely did more than I did. Naturally, these same students felt like they had gained nothing from college.
That alone, however, does not...
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