Tuesday, March 6, 2007

My Life as a Freshman

I just finished this book for a study group. It is written by a college anthropology professor who went undercover at the university where she taught to try to better understand the change in her students. She enrolled as a freshman in the dorms with classes where she would not be known. She then went about the business of going to class.
What she found reminded me of my eighth graders. College freshmen didn't speak up in class for fear of being seen as too smart or because they didn't see the point - what does it matter the teacher only wants the answer they have in mind; they don't care about our opinions. Most freshman didn't do the reading or even if they did they skimmed it with little or no comprehension. Kids were more concerned with partying and social connection than academics.
I was so depressed! I have been telling myself that my 8th graders would somehow grow out of this and would someday become engaged in their learing - I don't know some kind of in the end it will all matter type of deal - but then I read that when they get to college they are basically just 8th graders who can drink!
Then I started thinking about it and realized that maybe it is just a transition from one stage of their lives to another. Just like 8th graders are transitioning into highschool - freshman are transitioning into college. Could this be something? The first time I went to college, I was right out of high school, but I had a child and was extremely shy - I dropped out when my dad died of lung cancer. The second time I was a non traditional student hell bent on doing well and proving something to myself. What's my point?? I can't really relate to the book's freshman experience.
So I'm wondering? What were your college freshman days like? Is it all about partying and friends? When did you get serious about studies?


kidsarecool2 said...

Unfortunately,my freshman year was just about the social aspect. I knew I wanted to go to college, but the new experiences and new people, were all so overwhelming. I didn't have time for academics AND fun, so my freshman year I chose fun. I think I wasn't really ready for college when I got there. I was able to make it through public school with decent grades and still had fun, but I couldn't do that in college. I decided to take a break and join the work force. That was fun for a while, but it got really old. When my manager at the jewelry store started to talk me into taking management training, I knew that wasn't what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I knew I wanted more for me and eventually my family. I all of a sudden realized what I wanted and decided it wasn't too late to go back to school for a degree. So when I did go back to school, I was much more determined to succeed. I pulled up my terrible GPA from my freshman year, met Shane, and we both were a support system for each other. Then we both went to BHSU and graduated with honors. I think it just depends on the person and when their wake up call comes in. Unfortunately, for some it never does.

Robbie said...

I am going to try to read this book it sound like something my ninth graders need to read have you read The Secret by Rhonda Byrne I want to buy it but I want to know if its good?

Ben said...

You really don't want to know about my freshman year of college! Although, it was one hell of a time!!! Whenever the University of Wyoming send information requesting donations from alumni, I send it back with a note that my "first" freshman year of college was my donation to the University of Wyoming.

Aimee said...

I think that a lot of the partying mentality is based on what department you are in. When I first started college I was in the fine arts department and we had parties all the time-there wasn't a night that went by where I we weren't hanging out with each other and alchol didn't always have to be involved. We just enjoyed the freedom and the company. Then I started my college career over in the business department and everything changed. People in my classes didn't acknowledge each other and they definitely did not make plans to see one another outside of the classroom. I found this really depressing. One of my favorite things about the fine arts department is that we were all so close and we liked to hang out after class. I think that socializing is an integral part of the college experience and you have to decide for yourself how to balance your school work and your social stuff.