Going to college and receiving an education is something everyone strives for, but it has become a competition–a race rather than the source of knowledge or power.
A variety of students on campus from freshmen to fifth year students have spoken out on the struggle and pressure that is set upon them as the millennial generation.
The plan usually outlined for college students is going to a four-year university and graduating with a BA will guarantee success in the future. But, that isn’t the case anymore. Students divert from that plan for various reasons, due to finances, personal circumstances, and academic challenges.
Most students said that their plan has always been to graduate in four years and be on their path to a career at 22 years old.
“They stress graduating in four years so much in high school, which made me believe that was the only way to go,” said Brenda Urrutia, a CSUSB senior.
Urrutia realized that option was not going to be possible because she didn’t utilize her support and tools on campus to help her set up that four-year plan.
A lot of students like Senior at CSUSB, Robert Ballesteros work and go to school full-time in order to continue this pathway. Financially, it is difficult to stay on a four-year course because of the difficulty keeping up with the expenses.
“Work gets in the way of me being a top tier student,” admitted Ballesteros.
Financial reasons have come to be a set back preventing students from adapting to the curriculum successfully.
There is a constant pressure in society to get a college degree and have a stable career in your early twenties.
“There is a pressure. It’s influenced by everyone around you. If you have friends that have their stuff together, you want to do it to. If they are graduating, you feel that you have to as well,” said CSUSB senior Jasmin Novoa.
Acquiring and learning actual information has become less important and more of a race to see who can get their degree first. It has put a toll on students in both a positive and negative way.
Positively, it can be a motivation for students to achieve their goals. Negatively, it can put too much pressure on students and push their focus towards passing a class for the grade and getting their degree and less on benefiting from the knowledge as their source of success.
Fifth year student, Ana Moreno, is a prime example that it doesn’t have to be a race or negative experience to stay longer in college.“It’s my own path, I feel more successful because I am going to graduate with a dual major. If anything, I am just taking my time,” stated Moreno.
The main goal is for students to finish and receive their degrees, not to see how quickly they can achieve that goal.
“22 years old is still so young. You are going to work the rest of your life anyway so there’s no need to rush. It’s a scary thing to think about,” said Brenda Urrutia.