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The Big Question: Is a Degree Really Worthwhile?

The Big Question: Is a Degree Really Worthwhile?

Dr. Christopher W. Smithmyer & Remi Alli, JD, based in the USA, tackle the big question: is a degree really worthwhile?

Let’s face it, when you get a student with straight A’s applying for something in life it means one of two things: 1) That they are a genius and have excelled at everything that they have ever done; or 2) that they have not taken any risks and just taken on courses and projects that they knew they would be able to do well on. Honestly, guess which one happens more often.

In reality, if you are a professor and do not give out grades other than “A’s” because every student is amazing, you should not be teaching above kindergarten level, let alone at degree level. The purpose of classes is to tell students if they are doing well or if they need improvement. It is not an educators position to tell them that they are perfect.

As a student faced with a bad grade when we tried our best, good on you.  You elected to take a course that was challenging and while you may not have earned the “A” that you wanted, you have earned the experience of learning what you did wrong. People who do everything right never grow.  If you receive a bad grade, embrace it.  You can use it as fuel to do better in the future. Ask the teacher what you did wrong and how you can do better, then use those techniques in future classes to get the grade you want.

It is important to keep challenging yourself

I didn’t become one of the most educated men in the world by taking easy classes and getting all “A’s”.  I chose the hardest classes in the program to put my mind up against the best minds that some of the best schools had to offer, I did not win every time.  However, each loss taught me something and I used all of those “somethings” to build my career and do better the next time. 

The overall concept of this is that college and university life is about growing as a person. Colleges should not be training camps where professors breed smaller versions of themselves, this is a travesty. Colleges are in place so that people can learn who they are, what they are good at and where they need improvement.

While professors should be supportive, we should not lie to students and tell them that they are good at something that they are not.  Students to need to adjust to college, it is competitive not a team sport.  Each time you loose and get a grade lower than what you want, find out what you did wrong and do better.  This is how you grow, not by the times that you are lauded for doing excellent but by the times where you fail, pick yourself up out of the mud and try again knowing you can do better.

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