500 Words At A Time: A Different Option?

Spring Break is almost around half-way over. Not that I noticed. Someone in their infinite wisdom forgot to check with the other schools in the region. I am going to guess that the line of thought was, “College students do not have children, thus we do not need go coordinate with the local school system to ensure that all Spring Breaks are at the same or similar times in order to reduce the stress on everyone involved.

This seems to be a line of thought prevalent throughout my college experience or at least that is how the system has been designed:

  1. Attend K thru 12
  2. Straight into college
  3. Graduate or onto graduate school
  4. Begin your life

This would help explain why people like me, who there are more and more of every year, are finding the current college system underwhelming and not fitting our needs. Sometimes not addressing our needs or doing so in a manner that makes me wonder if a student was in charge of the process instead of an adult.

The college mindset or assumption that all students are out of high school is annoying at best and downright infuriating at worse. I don’t mind receiving letters addressed, “To the parents of …” I do mind when the assumption that I am a young person with little or no life experience is used as an excuse to address me as such. I have been around long enough to know how to behave as an adult, such as

  • how to hang items on my walls
  • how not to set fire to my temporary home
  • how to behave in public
  • how not to steal

In classes the professors can see that you are not a out of high school student and treat you as an adult, provided that you behave as an adult. This is how and why I made many of the professorial friends that I have, by being an adult and acting most of my age.

The college as a system, however, thinks that because I am a student that I am a out of high school student and does all sorts of weird things. Perhaps, if I was a out of school student, I would not mind or know, but I am and I do.

Starting at orientation where I, and I will guess most people over the age of 30, do not need to sit through a lecture that essentially says, this is how adults behave and you are an adult now. Unfortunately, if you have to be told that you are an adult you are likely not an adult. Sorry. To registration that removes an element of adult decision making from the process. I get the need for streamlined degrees with a set path from A to B. I do not see the need for the lack of choice for adults or students who want to expand their learning by taking classes outside of their degree. I understand the need for lower level or baseline skill classes, but where does experience enter into the picture? Make it easier for people with the skills to demonstrate that they have the skills, thus allowing them to skip lower level classes. Where is the course work for adults with responsibilities?

That means, I have children, a spouse, and responsibilities above college. When push came to shove I chose them over college, but why should I have too? Because college is set up for the young and because they have no responsibilities, I too should have to attend classes as they do? Well, college is wasted on the young, especially when the degree is only to get a job not to become more rounded individuals. If I enter college with experience thus potentially rounded, shouldn’t I get a different education or at least an opportunity to be challenged and demonstrate my skills with/against my peers?



2 thoughts on “500 Words At A Time: A Different Option?

  1. Ha! Spot on with regards to tertiary ed not keeping up with needs of mature aged students. Feel for your frustration, admire your juggling, and inspired by your shares. Am sharing with my network as many of them too are parents and or working…and are adults lol!


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