Volume 91, Issue 9

Thursday, September 11, 1997

frosh as a daisy


Fundamentals of learning

By Yaseen Nimjee
Gazette Staff

As students settle into the fall routine of classes, book-buying and attempted organization, it is interesting to hear the tidbits of conversation one can pick up around campus.

For example, I heard one student exclaim to her friend in the course add/drop line: "What courses do you think will look the best on my HBA application?" Her friend responded with some suggestions and a comment about "padding" her extra-curricular activities this year in time for her application to go through.

Come to think of it, I am seeing more and more of this among many of the students I interact with. It seems the student population has lost the ability (or the desire) to study for the fundamental reason of acquiring knowledge and proceeds instead to study only to satisfy a particular requirement or prerequisite.

Even activities such as volunteering time for charity or organizing school events are no longer done out of a moral or social obligation; rather it is done in attempt to look better or appear well-rounded in the eyes of a particular selection committee. Many students are consequently losing out on the university experience of growth and betterment and choosing instead to fill a mold that law, medical or business schools set for them.

Centuries ago, civilizations set up universities as beacons of knowledge and intellectual fulfillment on an otherwise desolate landscape. As graduate programs become more selective in their candidate criteria we will surely see a short term rise in candidate quality, yet this will also be accompanied by a large herd-like mentality among undergraduates who will have little of the creative individualism characterized by a young university student.

Graduate programs should endeavor to offer a broader range of categories, requirements and levels of grading in order to better diversify the candidate base and encourage variance at the undergraduate level.

For many students on campus, this year marks a beginning in the rigors of university life. While you are fulfilling all your prerequisites for med school or biz school, stop and think of a time and a subject that you actually enjoyed learning and put that course on your schedule. While you're at it, you might want to sign up at a club or two on campus – ones that you really want to be in.

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Copyright The Gazette 1997