Editor’s Note: Views expressed in guest columns and letters to the editor reflect the views of the author, not the views of The State News.
It is pretty much safe to say coming in contact with a student who has yet to miss a single class is difficult to come by. Skipping class is an action many of us are quite familiar with.
We justify our absences with an array of excuses that vary from being “sick” to the temperature outside being too cold. Although all these excuses are used frequently, the absolute worst of these is when we tell ourselves there is no point in going.
Sure, there might be many reasons a class might not be worth attending. The professor might speak in a monotone voice that has the same effect as a lullaby on a newborn baby, the material covered might not be interesting, or we might feel like we already have learned all the lessons being taught to us.
Thoughts, such as these, enter our heads day in and day out. But they ultimately diminish the appreciation we undoubtedly should have.
First of all, we live in America. We are known to be the spoiled of the spoiled. The majority of us at MSU all have been well educated at elementary schools, middle schools and high schools that have collectively prepared us for success at a major university.
Secondly, we all are fortunate enough to study at a Tier One academic institution. Our university will provide us the key necessities to best shape ourselves for prosperity in the career world.
Our school is composed of many professors, teacher’s assistants and other faculty members who are sincerely dedicated to teaching their students and ensuring we receive the most we can from this university.
I personally can say all the professors I have had at this school truly have been committed to the well-being of their students. They exemplify their sincerity by making sure their lessons have been comprehended adequately, are available for office hours and are open to a variety of colorful opinions.
Aside from those who provide lessons in the classroom, counselors have been more than helpful in times of academic distress, assisting me in schedule building as well as fully informing me of requirements for graduation.
I also have attended seminars that have provided me with fantastic advice from experts in specific fields regarding admittance to certain graduate programs. A few of these tips have included how to write a personal statement, what kind of grade point averages one should aim for and the kind of debt a student could be facing at the end of a graduate program.
Instead of listing all of the reasons why we shouldn’t go to class, we should compile the reasons why we should.
By attending class, we have the wonderful opportunity of obtaining knowledge — knowledge that ultimately will better our minds, which will, in turn, better our lives.
Being the spoiled students we often can be, we consistently complain about the things we do not have. We complain we don’t have enough money, that we have to walk too far, etc.
The idea is we don’t have as much as people who are seen to have far more than we do. But if this is the way we are thinking, we should consider the perspective of an individual who doesn’t have the valuable education which we have.
These people — those in impoverished countries or those forced into child labor, for example — dream of being in the position we are in. These individuals must sacrifice so much in order to have a fraction of the education we take for granted daily.
I understand it is very possible to 4.0 a class without attending it consistently. However, the grade itself is not what should be emphasized. Receiving a 4.0 in a class without diligent attendance might just mean one merely got by whenever an exam was presented. It’s possible nothing actually was learned.
To many, this is not a big deal at all because the grade is all that matters. This is understandable, but shouldn’t we do our best to get the most we can out of our classes? We should be gaining valuable information we will hold onto for our entire lifetime —the sort of lessons that will make us into greater, more knowledgeable human beings.
It is almost inevitable to find something negative about going to class.
We just need to realize how lucky we are to even have the option of not wanting to attend.
Ron Kim is a guest columnist at The State News and an English junior. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.