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Mattingly: Students lack independence, initiative

News Editor

Published: Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Updated: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 01:11

Provided by George Mattingly

Provided by George Mattingly

Throughout this semester, there has been a trend of laziness among students, one they should have overcome whenever they left their parents’ house and stepped on a college campus. Students have gotten used to having their hands held at every step instead of realizing that college requires something called independent thinking.

In a few of my classes, the professor has to waste time answering questions from the students about homework, due dates and the possibility of extra credit instead of using the time to teach the class. Many students fail to realize that the answers to all the questions are easily available on the class syllabus or on Blackboard.

In another example, one of my friends told me one of her classmates has repeatedly asked for copies of the class notes when she was never absent, just too lazy to take her own notes. In addition, I have received emails from classmates asking me about our class schedule and notes. All this is completely baffling to me, especially for young adults.  How can you expect to be successful in your career or even graduate if you cannot use independent thinking to do something as simple as check Blackboard or use a pen and paper to take notes?

Independence comes along with the college experience. However, it’s being horribly misused. Being independent is not limited to having no curfew or going out whenever you want; it is a chance for you to grow as an adult to figure things out for yourself.

One way to exercise your independence is by using your resources. At SHSU, students have many resources to help students answer a lot of their own questions including MySam, Blackboard and DegreeWorks. If you have a question about financial aid, degree progress or grades, you can access these resources with a few clicks of a mouse. If you still do not get the answers you need, THEN you begin to ask questions. It saves your time and saves time in the classroom.

Another way you can help save your own time is to realize that college is different from high school. The professors are not here to coddle you through classes. They are here to give you the tools and information for you to generate original ideas and do the work on your own. This may be a shock for some people, but that means you actually have to think. Although it may be challenging and give you headaches, independent thought will only benefit you in the future. Many employers and graduate schools will appreciate you more if you can think independently and take initiative.

Next time you want to ask the professor or classmate a question, first ask if you can answer it yourself and remember that the answers are for you to find out.

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