Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Because I Said So....

    In honor of the recently observed and most important holiday of the year, Mother's Day, I feel it is only fitting to spew a little motherly advice out there for all the wanna-be, gotta-be, oughta-be, already-be college students.  
     At the end of the first year of college, I have made a few observations about some of the pitfalls the current college student encounters. I feel obligated to toss a few pearls of wisdom out there that may make the transition to college life just a tad bit easier for the typical student. Besides, this is my second time around that old academic track, I have earned a few gray hairs, and I'm practically half a century old. I think that qualifies me to have an opinion, but regardless of that fact, I am a MOM, and you will listen to me and not argue because I said so!!

Number One. GO TO CLASS!!!!
Is it really that difficult to understand that one of the reasons you go to college in the first place is to GO TO CLASS? I am completely amazed by the number of students that do not attend class, that only show up for tests, that arrive late,  and that leave early. This is not rocket science here, boys and girls. This should be the easiest thing for you to do. I'm not asking you to perform well, to come prepared,or to participate....just GO TO CLASS!! You will be amazed at how much your professors appreciate the fact that you actually showed up for class. Believe me, you'd be surprised at how much they appreciate it, and you may even pick up a few bonus points as a result. So get up, get dressed, and GO TO CLASS....because I said so.

When I was in college, we called home about once every other week, on Sunday night, for five minutes. Period. Today's college student cannot go five minutes without taking a hit off the old cell phone. It's worse than a nicotine fit. First they start to fidget, then they play with their pockets, hands jiggling around like they are looking for loose change,  then they slide out the phone and sneak it under the desk as if a tenured college professor is too stupid to know that they are texting instead of listening. The boldest of the bold will stroll out of class, cell phone in hand, as if it is so much more polite to take that urgent call in the hall than to text while the professor is lecturing.  Several minutes later, they will saunter back in and resume their seat, crises averted.  I find it hard to believe that two minute call was for a real emergency. Unless someone is bleeding, delivering a baby, in the hospital, in jail, or dying, HANG UP THE PHONE.....because I said so.

Number Three. Sit up front, sit up straight, raise your hand, participate!
This is not high school, it is not cool to sleep on the back row, and participation counts. If you want to spend four years sleeping while you get a free ride, go on down to the welfare department and sign up for food stamps and assisted living, but please don't take a seat in a college classroom that could be filled by an eager, willing, participating young scholar. It's a waste of your time, it's a waste of the professor's time, it's a waste of money, and it's a shame.  I don't care if you do have a Life Scholarship or an athletic scholarship or any other ship that's giving you a free ride through college.  If you're not going to use it, don't abuse it. There are plenty of government subsidized programs that will allow you to sit on your honkus and sleep and do nothing, so please don't take up a precious seat in a college classroom if you just don't care. Sit up front, sit up straight, raise your hand, participate!...because I said so.

Again, I am amazed at the collective assumption among many college students that grades do not matter. Just pass the class, take whatever grade you can slide by with, and move on. Well, let me fill you in on a little secret. Grades actually do matter if you plan go to graduate school, law school, medical school,  business school, or pursue an advanced degree. Grades actually do matter if you plan to apply for scholarships, internships, grants, or fellowships.  Grades actually do matter if you plan to seek a coveted position in a highly competitive field. Grades actually do matter if you plan to do anything after college other than stumble around looking for the first available job. I am not kidding.... this is real life, real world advice you should heed...because I said so.

Number Five. Have Some Fun...these are the best years of your life.
OK, this is where I will cut you some slack.  College should be fun, and it can be fun, but that doesn't mean you have to be stupid about it.  If you just put in an eensy weensy bit of effort,  go to class, participate, and hang up the phone for  45 minutes, you'll have tons of time for fun. You won't have to spend endless semesters trying to  pull that GPA up from a 1.whatever, you won't have to panic and pull all nighters trying to cram a semester's worth of work into one day, you'll be much more relaxed and happy, and you'll actually have lots more free time to do all that fun stuff you were texting about while in class.  I'm telling you this for your own good, to make life easier for you, to ensure that you will have success, and to enable you to have plenty of time for the fun part of college.  Don't ask me how I know all this, just believe me...because I said so.

Finally, eat your vegetables, brush your teeth, always have a designated driver, put clean sheets on the bed more than once a semester, get a flu shot, check the balance on your bank account, never let the gas tank get below the red line,  and call your mother....because I said so (just please don't call while you are in class!).

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