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What’s wrong with the undergrad mentality

Today is the last day of my philosophy class. The professor has office hour after the lecture. I don’t know which essay topic should I choose, so I went to see her. There is a small line up in front of her office. Some students want to check the grades of their exam, some other just like me want to discuss their essay. While waiting in line, I start the conversation with the classmates by asking them how do they think about the course. To my surprise, all three of them think the course is really hard. They did not get a good grade in the exam and not even know how to write a philosophy paper.

I chat with them a little bit more, I found out none of them are philosophy major. They take the course not because they are interested in political philosophy, it is because this course fulfill the requirement for a minor degree or is an elective of a certain a program. To them, this course is just another course, the final essay is one of the many essays due next week. The stop keeping up with reading after the exam, since the material in those chapters won’t get them any grades. They are very surprise when I told them I am taking this course for fun. I guess they wouldn’t believe why someone would eager to take a course that they think is a torture.

I remember I had the same mentality when I was in undergrad. A course is just a mean for an end, an obstacle between myself and graduation. I don’t really care what I learn, all I care about was getting good grade and an honor degree. I wonder does all undergrad think the same way. Students go to university suppose to learn enthusiastically and always aspire for higher knowledge. How come university becomes a system making students to jump throw hoops in order to graduate. It seems that is not the problem of university. I took the same philosophy course as the other undergrad students. I found the course very interesting but the undergrad think it is boring. If nothing is wrong with the university, then something must be wrong with the undergrad students. But what’s wrong with them? I was one of them too!

4 comments to What’s wrong with the undergrad mentality

  • Michael Cheung

    If they take the course just to fulfill the requirement of a minor degree or an elective of some program, then they aren’t really interested in the topic. Of course they will find it boring. I don’t think there’s anything wrong. You choose what you take, but they don’t really have the choice.

  • Michael: But something seems wrong. University is not high school, student suppose to learn on their own. If they are not interested in the topic, why enroll in the course? If the course is boring and unless, why take the minor for the sake of having a minor.

  • Because the society as a hold requires(expect) them to do so. Some people thinks that “the more title you have, the smarter you are”. So, others would just do it for the sake of having more title.

    In your case, you are doing it because you are interest in it.

  • As far as those undergrads are concerned, the end justifies the means.

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