Intrinsic drive, self-motivation lacking among college population

In my short time here at Oswego State, I have come to learn that college isn’t for everyone. I constantly find many people who are not actively pursuing their own paths to fulfillment and happiness, as well as those seeking it in all the wrong places.

So many students seem to be here simply because their parents made them come. While it is great that parents are so motivated to do what they see best for their children’s futures, unless the student shares that same enthusiasm, they are really just wasting their time (and money).

If someone doesn’t want to be here, he or she is not going to be interested in doing what’s necessary to succeed. Acting without purpose, or trying to accomplish something insignificant isn’t productive. That doesn’t help anyone learn or grow, it just creates frustration. Lack of individual interest and initiative will result in failure.

One of the general education system philosophies, in short, is to "promote personal change and growth." It is pretty ineffective in a lot of cases. Throwing two years of, for the most part, generally, unrelated and non-sequential subjects at someone isn’t going to give him or her some strong epiphany of self-awareness nor will it make someone realize what they’re passionate about and want to devote their life to.

While there is a large portion of students who are as just going through the phases of college, and not taking active control of their lives, there is also a separate portion large enough to be notable as well. These are the people that come to college, defined as "an institution of higher learning," but don’t come to class. I can not really come up with a rationale for why someone would bother enrolling in college in this case.

Continuing to speak to the other extreme of the student body, there are also the individuals that are here just to simply go out and get saucy, because that apparently is what makes them happy and fulfilled. Fantastic. But, why don’t you save yourself or more than likely your parents the $20,000 bath every year, and go home. An individual with that mindset doesn’t contribute to a living and learning college environment and doesn’t belong in one.

If this is seriously one of the main reasons why people across America are coming to college, or whatever the new acceptable college student standard is, then the average American college has clearly lost some of it’s defining values.

I think it is important to take a moment and remind ourselves of the 14 percent increase in SUNY tuition. While federal aid has increased, state aid has decreased. The tuition increases, as well as the federal aid, aren’t going to our school instead, about 80 percent of it goes straight to the state. Do not obliviously allow yourself to be an idle cash crop to the irresponsible, mismanaged New York state government by spending four years (or more) of your life working towards an end that you have no real interest in. Even for those with the "Gym, Tanning, Laundry" mindset, I do not believe that even you deserve to be used for profits.

What I would like to encourage is that people make better decisions with their lives. Know who you are and what you want to do; know what drives you. Stop being so strongly influenced by what a societal system tells you that you have to do. There is nothing to do besides go to college? Be innovative, defy the norm. Don’t just "go with the flow." Instead, care about and invest in your own future, whatever that may mean to you as an individual.

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