Going to college to learn, needing time to prepare

Christy Johnson and Christy Johnson

A college degree allows for a wider selection of career opportunities, and through the college experience many students find they have the chance to become what society may deem educated.

And while students may wish to further their learning experiences, there’s no question that earning a degree which could equal better financial standing after graduation is a driving factor for students.

“Our society puts pressure on us to get a college degree in order to survive, because minimum wage sucks,” said Amber Rinehart, junior.

That pressure could steer students toward a major they’re not all interested in.

“From my experience, I feel that people are looking to get the degree and get out into the work force, and not about what they want to do for the next 20 years of their lives,” said Gordon Rankin, senior.

Many students admit that obtaining a degree is the main reason they enrolled at BGSU.

“I am here to get my degree, and get out into the real world,” said Katie Lindsey, junior.

Sophomore Mara Pennycuff had a mentality similar to Lindsey’s at the start of her college education, but classes that sparked her interested rekindled a desire to learn.

“My intentions when I first got here was to get a degree, but anatomy and physiology I’m actually excited about learning,” Pennycuff said.

Some students, like Pennycuff, may find that through time they start becoming truly invested in their educational experiences.

Allowing time for a class or even major to spark a real learning experience may not work for everyone. There is no yellow brick road to lead students towards a desire to learn.

Students may find that going through the motions of earning a degree may make them lose interest in their education.

But as with the scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, while simply getting handed a piece of paper does not automatically mean a person is educated, there are multiple roads leading to an immense opportunity for students to expand their knowledge.

“I think you realize once you are here, you understand that it is a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said David McClough, economics instructor.

A professor’s interest in student learning plays a vital role in the kind of educational experience a student has.

“If a student has a professor who seems not to care, show a little compassion for them, participate in class more, and I think you will see an improvement,” said Ardy Gonyer, junior.

Younger students may find that their drive for learning halted as from being in a major they simply do not find interesting.

“I changed my major, and I’m now more happy with the classes that I am taking, which makes learning easier and more rewarding,” Lindsey said.

General education classes that seem annoying now might introduce students to a new major.

“General education classes and a lot of different electives allow students to try out many different things, which can help them get a feel for what they really want to do,” said Barbara Childers, a part-time instructor of educational psychology.

The University offers hundreds of majors and academic programs. Chances are, one of these will be something that will grab hold of a student’s imagination, and will allow for a lifetime of learning, even after graduation day.