Wash Out Year

Wash Out Year

The Hunger Games of college.

College is supposed to be the best four years of a person's life, but is it really? As a science major, the beauty of college freedom and parties quickly fades away after the first semester. For some, it may have even dissipated before their eyes as early as during their first semester. And why would that be? What could possibly ruin a freshman's experience of breaking free and away from his or her parents and small town?


That's the heartbreaker, the tear-jerker, and dream-ruiner for most students aspiring to find a career in this highly competitive field. And could anyone be really surprised? Unless you're magically blessed with a smart brain or just naturally have an aptitude for the field, you're probably going to experience one, or fifty-one, break downs during your freshman year alone as you face the daunting tasks and information the sciences expect you to accomplish and absorb by, say, tomorrow?

I exaggerate, but not by much. As I progress through my major that's somewhere stuck between biology and chemistry, I begin to realize that not only do the students see how hard the journey will be, but I notice that professors alike know it too. They've been in our shoes, they know the struggle is real; but at the same time, when they look at the freshmen all pouring into their general ed science class, they also acknowledge the fact that many - if not most - of them will be 'weeded out' within a semester or three. For this reason, I wonder if that's why until end of sophomore year of college, you're still able to change your major without disapproval.

However, I digress. What mainly bothers me is the fact that this has become an expectation for them. This process of selecting the strong out of the weak, while logical in some sense, (i.e. I'm sure everyone would hope to go to doctors who know what they're doing), is also quite disappointing. If the student tries, if he or she wholeheartedly even sacrifices their social life just to try and get that passing grade in per se, chemistry, but still does not succeed - then whose fault is it really? Sure, the student may actually not be meant for science, but even then, can they be faulted for being thrown away just because they weren't prepared?

Science is hard, yes, but I believe that the core of the issue is that many science majors who go into college quit or get 'weeded out,' because they weren't properly prepared. High school biology, chemistry, and even physics, for most was compromised for them either because teachers were lax with grading, didn't care, or of course - just failed to properly build the foundation and understanding that the students would need in order to deal with the student life of being a science major.

They won't realize the sacrifice, the time, and the effort that is required of them until it is too late. And it would be shame, wouldn't it? If they were just washed out because of the simple fact that their mentality wasn't prepared for the work?

Cover Image Credit: University of Minnesota

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14 Signs You Go To A Small School No One Has Ever Heard Of

"Your class size is what?!?"


When most people are in high school, they look at all of the big schools that are known around the country. Schools like Rutgers, Ohio State, UCLA, University of Pittsburgh and West Virginia University are often at the top of peoples' lists. Believe it or not, some people don't want to attend a huge college. If you're like me, you like having small class sizes where your professors get to know you and you always see someone you know when you're walking on campus.

Once you decide where you're going and become a student there, you constantly hear the same comments from people, whether they be good or bad- but you wouldn't want it any other way. Here are signs that you go to a small school that no one has ever heard of:

1. People always mess up your mascot

Rider University

"Broncs? Like the Denver Broncos?"

"No. Just the Broncs."

2. "Oh I've never heard of that. Where is it?"

3. "Wouldn't you rather go to *insert huge state school here*?"

The answer is always the same — nope.

4. You find people all the time who know or is related to someone who went to your school

"Oh, my cousin's friend went there!"

5. "Your class size is what?!?"

6. You've never had class in a lecture hall

Patricia M Guenther

Or class with more than 50 students.

7. When people come to visit, they can't believe how small your campus is compared to theirs

Well, at least we can get up 10 minutes before class starts instead of an hour to catch a bus.

8. Dining options are limited

Rider University

But you joke around and make the most of it, secretly hoping your campus will open a Panera or Chipotle like every other school.

9. People are amazed that you actually get to know your professors and the people in your classes, and that they get to know you

Not to mention that professors are a great reference for getting a job after graduation.

10. If you went to a big high school, your college isn't much bigger

Rider University

There are about 1,000 students per class, so only around 300-400 more students than you graduated high school with.

11. Your school doesn't have all of the big sports, like football

Jamie Lewkowitz

But hey, at least we're still undefeated!

12. When you get into your major classes, you always have the same people in them

13. You can't find anything with your school's logo on it, so constantly buy more apparel from the bookstore

Rider University

You walk out of there $100 poorer with a new sweatshirt, mug, and sweatpants that you didn't need.

14. You get really excited when someone has actually heard of your school


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I Don’t Want To Admit It, But Math IS Important

Liberal Arts majors, this one is for you.


I hate math with a passion. But I think it's necessary.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not talking about confusing trigonometry or calculus. I'm talking about basic algebra, geometry, and other everyday math functions.

I was never an A+ math student. My dad used to be a high school math teacher, so luckily for me, if I was struggling in my math classes, I would just come home and ask Dad to "tutor" me or prep me for my tests. I feel bad for anyone who had/has a hard time with math and doesn't have such a resourceful person in their life, because I don't think I would've passed my classes without him.

Now, I haven't taken a math class in at least three or four years, but I know that being out in the workforce requires at least basic math skills. How come they teach us how to divide square roots and not applicable things like how to calculate a good tip (shameless plug - always tip your waiters at least 20%) or discounts?

There are so many necessary skills you'll use for your entire life that are not taught in schools.

Long ago when I was in 3rd grade, one of my teachers read us a book called "A Day Without Math." The book basically went through a school day where there was no math. People couldn't see what speed their car was going, cash registers didn't work, clocks were nonexistent...basically, the entire world shut down. Whenever I was frustrated and angry about my math class or a certain problem, I tried to remember that book. As much as I despised going to a math class only to leave in frustration, I knew it was for my own good.

Because when you think about it, our world really wouldn't function without math!

I wish math classes would've focused on the usefulness and practicality of their teachings instead of what was written in the textbook. Having a dad who worked in the school system, I understood that the teachers had to follow a certain curriculum, so in a way, their hands were tied. But then the issue simply gets passed higher and higher up until you reach the people creating the textbooks and curriculum school systems buy and use.

Maybe there's something we can do, whether it's petitioning for more teaching kids more usable math skills or continuously asking your teachers why you're learning what you're learning. Advocate for yourself and for future generations to learn the skills necessary to survive in our modern world, but at the same time remember that the problem doesn't necessarily stem from teachers but the curriculum being decided at levels far above their pay grade.

Moral of the story - even though I know a good majority of us (especially us liberal arts majors) are not fans of mathematics, let's work on learning and remembering the basics so our world can keep on turning.

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