It's More Than The Overpriced Textbooks That Make College Unaffordable

It's More Than The Overpriced Textbooks That Make College Unaffordable

Professors make sure students have to worry about more than just their tuition payment deadline.
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According to The Guardian, the U.S. is 17th on the world education ranking and rightly so. From elementary to high school, I was often taught by teachers who lacked the resources to properly educate the children in their classroom.

Two years ago, I was learning from textbooks that were published in 2006 but had more updated versions. Now I understand why my high school was disinterested in purchasing those newer textbooks, they're hundreds of dollars! Regardless of whether or not they had the money or not to purchase hundreds of textbooks for students, the prices are absurd.

The spring semester is about to start for college students across the nation, and everyone's scouring their school's textbook shops and the internet for the best deals.

I was about to find myself paying over $200 for 3 books (not even textbooks) until a friend reminded me about Chegg.com that allowed students to rent textbooks cheaper than what the UT Co-op was selling them for.

If not for Chegg, I wouldn't have gotten the textbooks I needed for my classes because I can't afford the outrageous prices that UT claims are great deals; luckily, I only had to pay $74 which included free return shipping after the semester is over.

UT Austin professors make it completely unaffordable for students to purchase the resources they need in order to pass their classes. While classic novels usually cost less than $30, hardcover textbooks cost over $100 every time. Not to mention iClickers, attendance taking apps, access codes, Blue Books, and scantrons that professors require for their classes. Have they forgotten we are already paying thousands just to attend their class?

A lot of these class requirements are idiotic and not truly essential to the material learned in class. Blue Books are nothing more than sheets of lined paper stapled together and attendance taking apps like Squarecap still aren't enough incentive to keep students from skipping class (speaking from personal experience).

If education is as important as our society makes it out to be, students shouldn't have to pay an arm and a leg for the professor's 'required textbooks' that will help us succeed in their class and push us closer to graduation.

It's no wonder the U.S. ranks so low in education, it's practically unattainable.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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