I always thought that the mission or goal of any post-secondary educational institution was to teach individuals meaningful skills and knowledge so that they would be able to successfully contribute to the welfare of our society. Or at the very least, teach individuals enough knowledge and skills so that they might get a job that could provide them with a sufficient income to live a comfortable life.
That being said, after having been in university as many years as I have — four to be exact — I have come to realize that achieving good grades is more or less how well you play the game.
Most of us have heard of “GPA booster” classes, a little loophole we students have found to increase our overall GPA. If you think about it, though, how is it that some information or knowledge is easier to teach — or learn for that matter — than others? As well, many students have utilized RateMyProfessor.com to avoid professors that are deemed “hard markers” in order to get any easy pass through the class.
It has come to the point where students are pitted against each other, especially in the faculties of law, medicine and graduate studies, competing for a limited number of spots of admission. This is something that perhaps is not new, but it seems the competition gets fiercer every year and that can take a toll on the physical and mental health of students. Students are competing for fewer and fewer jobs that require more education and knowledge. The basic minimum required seems to have changed from a high school diploma to bachelor’s degree.
What all this means is that the motive for attending a post-secondary institution for knowledge’s sake has disappeared. Who would choose a more challenging class and risk ruining a high GPA when there is an easier alternative class?
When our academic success and careers are on the line most would choose the guaranteed A. University used to be a place of higher knowledge, now it seems like it`s just a game.
Jill Patterson is a U of M student in the faculty of arts. Her major is sociology.