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Cut the cord

February 7, 2011

Staff Opinion

The title “college student” has a certain prestige.  To become a “college student,” one expects to have displayed certain characteristics such as responsibility, leadership, maturity and intelligence.  Young Harris College is certainly the type of school that wishes to see these qualities to its entire student population; however, it has failed to allow us to fully represent these words.

Starting college meant striking out on your own and taking responsibility for yourself.  All of the sudden, we became “adults” and added things like Q-Tips and toilet paper to our shopping lists that had previously only consisted of items such as Cheetos and Dr. Pepper.  The first night in a college dorm was a life changing experience.  It was the first night where you were truly out of Mom and Dad’s house.  It was a growing experience, but it should not stop after Welcome Week.

YHC has made leaps in bounds in education, transitioning from a two-year institution to a four-year college is no small feat.  However, with a higher level of education, should come a higher standard for its students and future graduates.  We can all drive motor vehicles, vote, buy crazy glue, serve our country and go to big-boy jail.  Surely, we can accomplishments assignments, like writing a research paper or preparing a speech.  Classes should not be reminiscent of high school.  We should not want or expect our professors to hold our hand on every assignment.  Our education should be in our own hands to take it or leave it.

We have become spoiled by the expectation that Dr. “So-and-so” will let this slide or won’t really read this paper, forgetting that the only person we are hurting when making this decision is ourselves.  By allowing the majority of the student population to be the exception to the rule instead of the standard, YHC has fostered a giant, proverbial chip on the campus’ shoulder.  The senior class will be graduating in three months, leaving the safety net of YHC and thrown out into the reality of the world.  They will get jobs, they will be someone’s employee and they will have to follow the standard not the exception.

A college degree says a lot more to an employer than “I completed the necessary credit hours to receive a B.S. in Biology.”

It says that in four years, the person whose name is printed on this fancy piece of paper grew up to become a successful, mature, ambitious and self-reliant person.  It says that this person has what it takes to be both self-motivated and a team player.  It says that this person is ready to enter the job market and compete for the position they have been training for their entire collegiate career.

The question we have to ask ourselves is, will our diplomas be able to scream that much?  In four years of hand holding, have we become the go-getting, future employees of the month that we have been dreaming of?  Or have we simply learned that it is okay to skip out on assignments, miss the maximum number of allowed absences in every class and still be able to make the Dean’s List?

Some of us chose YHC over some of the top universities in the country.  Don’t let that decision go to waste by sitting half-asleep in the back of the class, because you know you can get away with it.  Demand more from the college, from your professors but most importantly demand more for yourself.  In the end, it’s your $30,000 to throw away.

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