The traditional idea of a college town is one that’s truly built up around the college. These towns have bars and restaurants packed with students. They root for the school’s sports teams, especially the local hotels and motels who fill up with visiting family during games and graduations. The campus is the most identifiable landmark in town. It’s the largest contributor to the local economy. It’s in the identity of the town.
Many of the largest state schools are in these sorts of towns. The students of Arizona State University makes up over a third of the population of Tempe. University of Georgia students a little shy of 30% of Athens’ population. Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg, a city of 42,620. Total number of students at VA Tech? 31,087. Over 70%.
Yet in most cases, the student population is considered essentially transient, and that has a big impact on both the way these towns think about the students as members of the community and the way the students view themselves.
This morning, the Supreme Court kicked off its summer blockbuster season with a long-brewing case on affirmative action. We first talked about the case last October, where an aspiring college student named Abigail Fisher sued the University of Texas: Austin for discrimination after not being accepted. (more…)
A four-year college degree isn’t for everybody. I’d be reluctant to even say it’s for most people. However, everybody needs and deserves education. Our society just needs to do a better job recognizing the validity of the huge variety of types of education for different types of people, interests, and careers.
The further along students get in their education, and the closer they get to entering the workforce, the more the line between the two starts to blur. College athletes, for example, aren’t getting paid for their athleticism, other than the lucky ones offered scholarships. But in many cases, their hard work is still making truckloads of money for their universities.
Pre-college, summer school is hung over the heads of students like a threat for not working hard enough. That’s already an unfair stigma for grade school and high school students, but for college that stigma truly makes no sense. If you’re reluctant to sacrifice your three months of sunshine for a few spare credits, here’s a few reasons you might want to reconsider.
1. Summer classes are typically easier. Take this one with a grain of salt, because I have no doubt there are plenty of exceptions, but generally speaking, you won’t need to do as much work during a summer term.
For some, the final paper is even more dreaded than the final exam. At least with an exam, you can only do so much work in the time given. With a paper, there’s this sinister feeling that you always could have done more. So naturally, you put off thinking about it as long as you can.
I was reading the other day about the Kübler-Ross model, better known as the Five Stages of Grief. I thought I’d overlay the same ideas onto the process of writing a final paper. The comparison was uncanny.
When it’s time to graduate, while you’re sitting there sweating through your academic robes in the summer sun, you’ll start to listen to the names of your class (or department, depending on how your school does it), anticipating friends’ names so you can cheer a little louder.
The odds are pretty good that you won’t hear at least one name you expect to. Some people just plain don’t want to walk.
While the majority of you probably wouldn’t even consider skipping, a number of your classmates have no interest whatsoever in attending graduation. A few of them might even take off as soon as finals are complete. Justifications will vary. Some will say they’re just sick of school and can’t wait to get out of here. Some will be taking off out of obligation to their vacation plans (that they easily could’ve scheduled later in the first place). But whatever the argument, the people who don’t want to walk simply don’t see much value in pomp and circumstance.