No-brainer advice for everyone

ReAnne Utemark

The most exciting thing about going back to school is the anticipation. Getting ready on the first day, making sure you have all of your supplies in your new backpack and getting to class early because you’re excited. Of course, it all goes downhill from there to barely getting dressed, having to bum a piece of paper off of someone in your class and running to get to class 10 minutes late.

Maybe that’s just me.

As the freshmen begin to explore and shape their collegiate experience, here is a warm welcome to Washburn and some advice, although you are probably tired of hearing advice from your parents, your older brother, your neighbor and your guidance counselor. The people telling you to get involved on campus are correct, being a part of an organization or a project can be one of the most fulfilling things to participate in. However, you must also consider that you are at an institution for higher learning, emphasis on the “learning.” College is not a time to join as many clubs as you can and then be too worn out from all the events that you cannot keep your eyes open to do your homework. It is also not a time to get drunk every weekend and being too hung over to do your homework. College is a time to absorb as much knowledge as you can and use it to better yourself and the world around you.

I am still excited about going back to school and I have been since kindergarten. So, most of you are thinking that I am that kid in class that always has their hand raised and is always contributing to the conversation and worse, always has their work done. Yeah, I am that kid and, for the most part, I am pretty proud of it. Not because I like brown-nosing or being a teacher’s pet, which does still exist in college, but because I like to learn things. I, as a student, value the education I am paying for and that professors are taking the time to provide.

It is unclear why people blow off classes, sleep in class, do not do their homework and overall disregard the class – this is particularly true of general education classes. The standard chorus of whines that are a variation of “this has nothing to do with my major” really just don’t make sense. Sure, it does not seem like your psychology class has anything to do with business or that your history class has anything to do with chemistry, but everything is tied together. To learn about only one’s own discipline restricts onesself and creates a one-dimensional mind. For example, if you understand basic psychology, it’s much easier to create effective advertising.

You cannot be in class all the time, nor do you want to be. Sometimes you didn’t have time to do the reading and you can’t participate. This is understandable, however, every effort should be made to make the most of one’s time in the classroom, with professors that largely have a terminal degree in their field and fewer than 250 students in each class.

To look at it from a strictly financial point of view, you are wasting your money if you waste a class. To look at it from a scholarly point of view, you are wasting your chance to learn information from someone who has studied this for probably his or her entire academic lives.

Freshmen, welcome to campus, have fun, but remember why you are here. Everyone else, welcome back and remember the same thing.