When we were growing up, we tinkered with toys, played outside in the dirt and learned because it was fun. Now we’re in college. The desire to truly learn has faded for many of us. We just want to get the grade. We want to be the know-it-all. We want to be at the top of our class.
School has changed the curiosity of our childhoods. We have little to no motivation to learn unless it will benefit one grade on the transcript of our $40,000-a-year education, yet we have so many other opportunities to grow.
There’s virtually a lecture every week in the Robinson Teaching Theatre, but most of the time you’ll only see the seats fill if there’s Core 150 extra credit involved. We only make the effort if there is a tangible incentive.
So, why aren’t we taking advantage of these opportunities? Shouldn’t growing in knowledge be incentive enough?
It seems as though there’s too much going on at Whitworth. We are bombarded with emails each day, blinded by posters walking into the HUB and, frankly, we just have other stuff on our plate.
Whitworth students tend to want to be involved in everything; we want to make positive changes, but it’s as if we’ve chosen quantity over quality. Most people do things they are passionate about. However, seldom do they branch out and gain insight on other topics that they haven’t explored or things that can only increase them in knowledge. We tend to want things that will get us points, look good on our resumes or get us ahead in some way.
That decision comes with the culture we live in today. We are told to only spend time on things that are “worth it,” things that will help us become “successful.” If there aren’t rewards, society tells us it’s not worth it.
In addition to the stresses of school, many of us are constantly reliant on smart phones and computers to keep us connected and updated with information. Although technology is a blessing in some regards, when its constant place in our lives is coupled with academic obligations, the result is a loss of learning motivation.
That’s not to say that we don’t benefit from what we learn in classes, but because of our priorities and schedules, the emphasis shifts to the grade we receive as the driving component of our academic agenda. If there is no incentive to increase our grade, we don’t try.
In reality, we have the time to explore new things. It doesn’t even have to be a lecture. If we spent just a few minutes a day immersing ourselves in new information, we would amaze ourselves with how much we could learn.
This editorial board encourages students to take into account the dynamic of balancing the busyness of academics and other campus commitments with learning and satisfying personal interests.
If we fail to grow in knowledge through exploring ideas without incentive, we fail to grow as people. Whitworth is a place that prides itself on preparing people for to be well-rounded individuals, fully equipped to take a meaningful place in society.
In its defense, Whitworth gives us the tools to do so; however, we don’t take those opportunities. The lectures that are offered are to expose students to different perspectives and ways of life. It’s time for us to do our parts. Whitworth can try to equip us in every way, but until we take advantage of that, it’s meaningless.
Ultimately, your grade is a number. It will likely impact you for the next couple of years as you apply for graduate school or jobs. However, once you start that job or degree, the number of points you got on your final exam will mean nothing.
What will have meaning is the information that had enough of an impact on you to stick, the experiences you have had, and the skills you have gained. These are not things that come from cramming for an exam, but rather from going to those lectures, discussing interesting topics with your friends or professors and delving into the things that interest you most. Go earn the points that count.
Whitworthian Editoral Board Contact the editorial board at firstname.lastname@example.org