As students, we work tirelessly to achieve success whether it be on the athletic fields, in the classroom, or in a place of work. Oftentimes students are recognized for their hard work, and there are times and places where it is appropriate to do so. For example, if an athlete does his or her best every day and contributes to the team’s success, then he or she deserves the award for most valuable player. If a student makes the Dean’s or President’s lists, than the student should be recognized for that achievement as it is challenging to receive such high academic honors. Today, more and more students are being recognized for their achievements no matter how big or small. While it may seem like rewarding students for their achievements would encourage them to do well, rewarding students for small accomplishments will only result in soft adults who will receive a rude awakening when they move from the safe bubble we call academia to the real world.
One would think the coddling would come to an end in high school, but my last year-and-a-half of college has shown me the exact opposite. One of the areas where students are coddled the most in college is through participation points and extra credit. It is not mandatory for students to attend college. Colleges and universities are places where driven students come to further their education to become successful adults; however, students are still being rewarded for doing things they should be doing anyway. One of the areas where students are rewarded is in class participation and attendance. In college, it is expected that one would make the effort to get out of bed, attend class when it is scheduled, and have completed the prescribed reading and homework in order to contribute to the class discussion. Instead, students receive credit towards their final grade for contributing to the discussion and attending class on a regular basis. Another way students are unreasonably rewarded in college is through extra credit. Students should have the desire to perform well, and utilize resources offered by the college or professor to do well. Going to tutoring or reading the supplement material found on class Blackboard pages should not be areas where students can score extra points.
Many on-campus student organizations like to reward academic progress. Some organizations encourage students to report that they received a high grade on an assignment and others even recognize students for studying. This may seem like a great method for encouraging students to be successful, but the end result of this is students who wish to receive rewards for everything.
Today’s generation has received a reputation for being the “softest” generation on record, but we cannot place the blame entirely on this generation. One of the many reasons why we are so “soft” is that we have been coddled throughout our lives in school, at home, and even on the sports field.