Bragging about mediocrity

Written by: Andrew Golden

I find elevator rides fascinating. In the marketing world, an “elevator pitch” is a carefully crafted attempt to make a connection with, and to inform, a decision-maker during an altitude transition that he or she cannot escape.

And as I wrap up my academic career at The University of Akron, I realize that, while traveling to and from classes, I have seen some of the most persuasive elevator pitches ever made.

Most of these marketing schemes have the same general theme: two students in the same class talking about a big test, presentation or homework  assignment that is due that day.

However, it is not the merits of the careful construction of essay questions or speeches that they pitch. Instead, they brag openly about the severe degree of their ill-preparation.

“I totally wrote this like an hour ago,” one student will pronounce only  minutes before class.

“I only got mine done a minute ago, and it took only 15 minutes,” the other  will retort, thus cementing his or her status as the superior procrastinator and  establishing dominance as to which one is the less adequate student.

When did being a braggart about how incapable you are at properly  scheduling a time to do homework become a pastime infinitely more popular than going to our football games?

As a fellow student, I can only ask the following favor of the student body:

If you’re not going to actually do work and somehow still manage to graduate, thus cheapening the degree of everyone else around, please, please, please at least feign the effort.

The values and work ethic that you establish at the university will stay with you for the duration of your career. I assure you, your future bosses and coworkers will be just about as impressed as I am by your sophomoric attitudes toward your own future. If you’re making an elevator pitch, are you sure it’s what you want to present to the rest of the world?