“As finals week rapidly approaches, many students have test scores on their mind. To some, the GPA they will receive at the end of the semester is the most important thing right now. But what do finals actually teach us as students? Do they enrich our education with a renewed appetite for knowledge? Finals teach students how to take a large amount of information and cram that information into their short term memory banks.””
As finals week rapidly approaches, many students have test scores on their mind. To some, the GPA they will receive at the end of the semester is the most important thing right now. But what do finals actually teach us as students? Do they enrich our education with a renewed appetite for knowledge?
Finals teach students how to take a large amount of information and cram that information into their short term memory banks. Many long nights are spent studying for these tests, often gathering huge stores of factoids that are only used once.
What are students learning by packing their brain like an overloaded suitcase, only to be emptied when the destination is reached?
It is possible to gain true knowledge during the semester from continued investigation into the subject matter, but who is to say how often that enlightenment is reflected when the school has decided it really counts?
The grade one receives in a class is largely based on non-academic matters. Did a student take an easy professor or a hard professor?
Did the student have access to solutions manuals or old tests?
Did the student take tests honestly or was he able to gain an advantage on the other students?
These factors can make a huge difference between students.
Someone who takes an easy professor, is able to copy homework from a solutions manual or uses an old test to study might be able to receive an A in the class.
A student of similar merit can take the same class with a harder professor and do all their own work and come out of the class with a C.
Who learned more, the A student who was well connected, or the C student who worked hard the entire semester?
It’s easy to see the problem in the academic system.
So if you can’t depend on your academic achievement to define your collegiate career, where else should you look to validate your education?
Maybe we as a community should stop obsessing over a single number to define four plus years of our life.
Personally, the first thing I have done is refuse to list my GPA on my resume.
I’d rather be judged on the multitude of other things that I have been able to accomplish and leave the number to the imagination of a perspective employer.
If there were to be a single emphasis on college, it would be social interaction.
By social interaction I’m not referring to the choice of bar attended on any given Friday evening, but rather how well students forge lasting relationships with peers.
Professionally speaking, a strong group of peers is the most important thing you can bring with you out of college.
While in school, a collective effort is always stronger than separated individual efforts and post graduation, opportunities will abound for you with your strong social network.
So, while stressing about finals this upcoming week remember what really matters in college, and be sure to clear everything out of your suitcase when the vacation is over.