I recently watched a news segment about ways in which college-bound students can cope with stress. It has been almost a year since my graduation, but based on my studying behaviors and experiences, I can assure you the stress results from thinking too much about academics. I am surprised psychiatrists are telling students to simply practice breathing and talk with parents about their academics – I do agree with them in that they help calm yourself down, BUT students are going to still be stressed no matter what. The problem lies with academics and the traditional way that college –> success.
Let’s face it. Sometimes, degrees are useless…I applied for an office assistant job on CareerBuilder and saw the free competition report – guess what? There were around 11 MASTERS and 5 DOCTORATE degree applicants. I know you all are going to bring on statements like “Major in STEM-related programs” or “That’s why you don’t choose worthless majors” but think about it from a global perspective — look at the world we live in. You go on the web and you see so many problems – wars, poverty, homelessness, famines and the list goes on. Then, we have politics and big business on the economic side. It seems we have become smarter, but at what expense? The environment is a huge concern, yet look at the situation…we still have research funded to prove that climate change exists. We are looking into exploring Mars and implementing more space programs. What’s the purpose? How does this tie with academics? We believe the following:
Birth –> School –> More School! –> More Schooool! –> College –> Steady job –> Promotions(?) –> Buy a home, car and have a steady income –> Retirement –> Happy Life? –> Death
Can you spot the issue? We are so focused on what a person does and how much money he or she makes. The questions are endless. Why don’t you major in something better? Did you know his cousin is a high-level executive? You see, students are stressed more than ever because of the way we perceive life. We are worried about our future when we do not even prepare for the present. What will my final grade be? Will I fail? Will the admissions committee reject my application? Will I get a job right after college? Now, let me tell you my story.
When I was in high school, I shut myself from everything and focused solely on academics. I was scared of playing sports because I thought I would get hurt – that’s why I hated PE. If I could not understand a question on homework, I would never ask anyone – I would try to figure it out myself. I only got involved in one or two clubs during high school. I was an introvert all during high school and this goes for college, too, up until senior year where I opened up and talked to more people and got a job. Now, after graduation, I still continue to ponder my choices. Was focusing only on classes worth it? What about people like me who did not talk to people and go out on weekends or eat with friends all the time? I believe students should NOT focus on their academics too much…it’s just not worth it…yes, do think about the future. But, let me ask you another question:
Are you ready to face the world after college?
If you worry about which college you will get into and aim for straight A’s, then that will ruin your health early…definitely my case. I worried too much and still worry about finding a steady job. Go to graduate school? Maybe, but that’s a topic for another post. My point is that you need to absolutely think of the future, BUT in the context of preparation for the real world and not because of your degree or grades. College certainly prepared me to carry out calculations and think critically, but certainly not in helping me understand the world. Academics consume our lives. Yes, you can say all our sweat and heart beats were meant to get a great job…I will leave it at that…
I wrote whatever came into my mind so there may be some things I may have forgotten to explain in detail and reasons why I said certain things, but I hope you enjoyed this.