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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

College’s extracurricular pleasures should not distract from studies

A recent study by the ACT concluded that only 53 percent of students complete their college degrees within six years. When I first heard this sobering statistic, I was shocked. Why do nearly half of all students drop out of college? Are universities intentionally “too tough” in order to limit the benefits of higher education to only half their students? Or can anyone succeed in college with hard work and the right priorities? I believe the reason so many students fail in college is not due to the education system but due to their mixed up priorities and lack of motivation.

College is an exciting time of life. For the first time, students are free to make their own choices.

When I first came to TCU, I had so many things vying for my time: friends, organizations, classes, parties and homework. Nobody told me when it was time to do homework, when it was time to go to class or when it was time to go to sleep. I had to make those decisions on my own.

Fortunately, my parents had raised me so I knew how to make wise decisions and prioritize my activities. Many students, however, get to college and do whatever they want. What those students don’t realize is each choice carries consequences.

College is training for the “real world” in a somewhat protected environment. If you mess up your priorities in college – perhaps you spend too much time partying and not enough time studying – at least you haven’t lost your livelihood. You fail by your professor’s standards, but you can start over next semester.

If you make a bad choice in the “real world,” you fail by your boss’s standards and get fired. You can choose to either meet your boss’s expectations and maintain your livelihood or insist you be in control. If that’s the case, you should start your own business.

However, 95 percent of small businesses fail within the first five years, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration. They probably fail because the business owners didn’t learn how to make good choices in college.

We should see college as preparation for the real world and take it just as seriously as we would our jobs. If your job was on the line, would you skip work because you were hung-over or not turn in progress reports because you wanted to party?

I’m not saying college isn’t a time to have fun. Many of my friends have told me college was the most exciting time of their lives. Yes, go to parties, hang out with friends and be spontaneous, but remember your priorities.

I am going to college to get a degree. I don’t see the point of paying $30,000 a year just to have fun. There are plenty of other places to have fun where you don’t have to study.

Another reason students fail is because they lack the motivation to succeed. They are lackadaisical. If they don’t understand a concept, they don’t seek help from professors, tutors or university resources. Instead, they get stuck in a rut of confusion, which could easily be ended with a little effort.

Students do not fail because of a poor education system. America has one of the best education systems in the world, and the opportunities are limitless. If students simply get their priorities straight and put forth the necessary effort, they are sure to succeed – in education and beyond.

Christina Durano is a freshman broadcast journalism major from Albuquerque, N.M.

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