By Jessika Harkay |
Let’s paint a picture.
You’re finishing up the last few weeks of your senior year and your high school teachers have been down your throat about how “in college they won’t accept this” and “your professors won’t be this lenient with you”.
A type of fear is installed because you’re about to be thrown in a different place and a different school system, with different teachers and people you’ve never met before.
Fast forward a few months and you get added to your freshman class’ GroupMe where everyone is talking about professors, telling you about websites like RateMyProfessor or BUBooks to ensure that you won’t be stuck in the worst class.
Soon, it’s orientation day and you choose the perfect schedule with the perfect professors all based on the online ratings — all except one. You end up with someone who has a rating lower than 50 and you’re already expecting to dread the class.
If this sounds familiar, welcome to the club.
The thing about this process is that we, as students, have become so consumed in comfortability.
There’s a sense of entitlement that we should be challenged, but only in a specific way.
We like a challenge…on our terms.
We want the material to be hard, but not too hard.
We want work to keep us busy, but not too busy, because this is college and we need time to experience other things too.
We want a professor who teaches to everyone’s understandings, because outside work and learning on a deeper level shouldn’t be our individual responsibility. It should be the professor’s.
By relying on and checking these websites, we choose to create the most convenient and comfortable semester we can.
We got through this in high school by getting thrown into classes and having teachers we didn’t get to choose — but we refuse to go through that inconvenience again.
Something we forget, however, is that we grow from undesired circumstances and situations.
Learning how to adapt to different types of people, teaching styles and environments is what molds and tests our character to adversity.
It’s not easy for anyone to be in a class that doesn’t seem to make sense. But the way you handle it often teaches more than the material does.
A good class teaches you textbook information.
But a challenging class, where everything isn’t always rainbows and butterflies, where you have to work for everything like grades and a genuine understanding — teaches you that your work ethic and how you handle tough situations correlates to your finishing product and what you ultimately deserve.
It’s a “you reap what you sow” kind of learning.
I’m not going to lie— it’s hard not to check those websites. It’s hard to choose a professor that has a reputation for favoritism, for a high workload and is known for being “terrible”.
But something we have to keep in mind is that those reviews are usually leaning to an extreme on either side of the spectrum. It’s not typical to find a neutral review.
The only scenario in which most people choose to spend time writing reviews is when they passionately hate or love a teacher or class.
Check the review, but listen to it in moderation.
As you look into scheduling classes this semester, give yourself a challenge and give yourself a chance to do better than just what’s comfortable. Get the most out of your education and push yourself to fight for the A you deserve. Look for the true meaning of finding yourself in college by pushing your limits and seeing how you adapt.
College is too short to be settling for what’s comfortable.