Friday College Town Hall

In Friday College Town Hall, we post a question about college, and you leave an answer in the comment field.

Today’s question is inspired from Lynn O’Shaughnessy’s recent blog:

Why is it that students act as if college is a time of extended adolescence instead of a time for learning real-life skills for careers and adulthood?

Is there a healthy balance to hit? What needs to change in the college experience?

Have a thought or an answer? Leave a reply below.

We’ve also asked our @Cappex Twitter followers to chime in! Here’s what people are saying on Twitter:

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  1. I think there is always one extreme or another! Either really still being adolescent or growing up and really trying to put your time and effort In growing! I think high school does not do justice of preparing kids to balance college and the real world of not having everything planned out for us! It’s a BIG jump, and overwhelming for many students who think this is just more time for me to a kid!

  2. Tomas says:

    I think it depends on the student’s attitude towards college. There are some people who feel like college is for the parties and just having a good time, while others going in expecting to be ready for the real world once they graduate. But the ideal situation would to be able to balance having a really good time at college, but also preparing yourself for the real world. The problem with that is that some, if not a lot, of students have a problem achieving this ideal balance. It all comes down to the student and how they personally view college and what they want to get out of it.

  3. Cindy Doll says:

    As a “non-traditional” student trying to get back into the swing of classes, homework, etc., I often wonder this myself. If one is not committed to their studies, attendance and all around behavior, why even spend the time or money to attend college? I am going in order to have an extra “edge” on the job market in this day and age. I do not have time for those who are not serious about their education. It’s distracting, especially if students are chattering when the instructor is attempting to lecture. While I am not saying there shouldn’t be fun while in college, there has to be a time and a place for it. In the classroom is not the time nor the place. Respect for other students and those that are in class for a reason are key ingredients for learning how to function out in the “real world”. Schedule a night out at the local coffee house or plan a movie night. There are other avenues to explore that will allow college students to “have fun” and still function as that responsible adult while in class.

  4. Cricket Garancosky says:

    Well, at least with this generation of college students (myself included) we were brought up a bit differently about how the world is (some of us had very sheltered lives, overprotective parents, fantasy ideals that we were told we could do/be anything, that we were the most special thing on the planet, and little to no experience in the real world).

    Since college is pretty much the first time you get to be out on your own, but still possibly on mom and dad’s purse strings, people freak out. Those teenage years of rebellion were nothing…parents still made the ultimate decisions. Those who were never allowed to have what they felt “control” was in their lives will act up the most. Then you just have some that don’t have the capacity to realize how important what you do in those years will affect the rest of your life. Most college students get into serious debt, but some switch majors or stay in school for half a decade (or more). Even more so when the student ends up doing little to nothing with their degree and ends up back home or in the same kind of job they were in to begin with. They just spent $x.xx on something they’re not using at all. I won’t say that doing something different than your major is a waste of money, but doing the same thing you could have done without the degree is (in my opinion).

    I have also seen that our education system (before college) does not teach you how to do the daily things in life, like balance a checkbook and make a budget. I can also see the argument that parents should teach their kids this, but look at the parents! How many of our parents are up to their eye-balls in debt because they didn’t know how to do it either? We have the blind leading the blind here. I’ve also noticed that people have NO idea the difference between want and need. I have seen people beg others for food but HAVE TO HAVE that brand new iPhone. No, you do NOT need that, it is a want.

    Lastly, we have the stereotypes about college that we see in the media and hear the stories about…College is a big party. When kids go into college with that mentality of course they’re going to act like children, that is what their expectations are! College is rarely described as a system of higher education (and a lot of colleges don’t provide it anyway…since they seem to be more interested in pumping out students like a factory product while making the most amount of money, not caring about if their students actually /know/ anything).

    Bottom line: We as parents and possibly future parents (and the education system) need to come back down to earth when it comes to college. It is a place to learn and grow, not fiddle around and waste everyone’s money and time. We need to start teaching others/our kids life long skills LONG BEFORE COLLEGE. I know some people who are now in their 30’s who still have no idea how to handle life because no one sat them down and helped them realize some key things (like you need to take responsibility for your own actions). We also need to get our education system in order. Education should not be like a factory, kids should not be pushed through the system like a good and spit out when “finished.” A great example of what I am talking about is http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U. The university should not run as a business, because education cannot be standardized. Students can learn some of the same things, but not always at the same time or in the same way. We are individuals, not robots.

  5. Trisha says:

    It is wonderful to be at a university that this is not the case. At Kettering University students start with a co-op employer as early as their first year. Students are earning paychecks and experiencing their future at 18 and not waiting to send out their first resume at 22. There are currently over 500 companies employing Kettering students (and they are not stuck making minimum-wage).

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