Every fall, according to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 18.2 million students go off to college and begin a search for new life. The hope is that, after four or even five long years of tireless labor in our chosen field of study, we are handed a Bachelors degree that opens up endless possibilities for a bright and promising future. But the one thing that most students tend to forget about during our college experience is the little things that make this short period of our life worthwhile. The late nights and the early mornings, the wins and losses experienced at athletic events but most importantly teachers pushing us in the classroom to reach our full potential. College is a time where we can find out who we are and what we want to become. We fine-tune our strengths and develop our weak areas, and turn into mature, well-rounded human beings ready to bring our talents and gifts to the world.
In order to gain this maturity, we need to show up.
Every year I hear students complain about how they don’t agree with the attendance policy which is written in our student handbook on page 32. Students with excessive absences beyond two weeks of class or six class hours for a three-credit course and eight class hours for a four-credit course, may receive a grade of “F.” One of the popular excuses students give for poor attendance is that since we are the ones who are paying to attend Finlandia, we should be given the right to choose whether we come to class or not. Yes, as a paying student we have the right to choose to come, but when we decide to skip that one class, take in consideration on how much money we are throwing away.
I am challenged everyday to give my best effort in order to get the most out of my expensive education, and I believe that it starts with simply attending class on a regular basis. In order to be a full time student at Finlandia we take at least 12 credits per semester. Each individual credit cost $650, making a three-credit course cost $1,950. For courses that meet every Tuesday and Thursday, each of the 28 class meetings costs $69.50 per student. Imagine if every time you went to class you had to hand the teacher $69.50 to participate. I think we would value our precious time and try to squeeze as much knowledge out of each session.
Quite frankly, too many students here at Finlandia have a lethargic, help me- I can’t get my butt up to go class type of attitude. I think that each time students make the choice to not attend a scheduled class, it is communicating that they don’t care about their responsibility to society. If each student valued education by simply attending class we would more frequently experience finding our true self, which will open up options to choose quality jobs that will give students opportunities to impact others. If this is done I believe that we even in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where during the winter you feel secluded from the rest of the world can make a difference and contribute our passions to the world.
I agree with the attendance policy, because it holds students accountable. We should view college as our job because if we do better in school, then we can avoid the dead end jobs that await the underachievers. Let’s face it, we all want to graduate and earn a good job that makes a difference in the world.
College is a valuable time and at the end of our four years here at Finlandia we will ask ourselves “Did I give it my all, or did I waste my money?” Just remember when you contemplate on not attending your next class think about how much money you are wasting and how your lack of effort is not only affecting your personal development as a human being but also minimizing your contributions to being the change you want to see in the world. Enjoy your next class!