Why Education Isn't Taken Seriously

Why Education Isn't Taken Seriously

Develop a Love for Learning
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As of late, students are carrying negative attitudes about education. Books aren’t being read, homework isn’t being done and attendance is growing thin. Students’ replies to why school isn’t working for them is usually a statement concerning boredom. However, boredom isn’t a sufficient excuse. People need to dig deeper to find why exactly a student isn’t performing to their full potential and counteract that particular reason. Below are listed common reasons why subtends aren’t taking education seriously.

  • Tools to succeed aren’t being given. Students at either end of the bell-shaped curve have needs that aren’t being met. A school tends to run with only one type of student in mind and leaves the other types out of the equation. By not allowing for different types of learners and adapting educational material, atypical students become frustrated in school and grow to dislike school.
  • A love for learning isn’t created. Children aren’t developing a love for learning and this thought is being carried throughout their educational career. Parents are simply giving their children an iPad or a TV show to watch with screaming cartoon characters rather than experiencing the world and creating a sense of wonder. Books, hands on materials and playing outside are no longer a priority to parents, therefore children aren’t encouraged to travel deeper into thought.
  • Education isn’t engaging. Since when did policing ideas become a part of the educational agenda? With an increased emphasis on test scores, most teachers are directed to tell students what to think rather than asking them what they think. Discussion and questions have become taboo in classrooms and a lecture-based approach has ensued. By adding discussion to a daily lesson, students are able to interact with their peers and learn social skills that a PowerPoint can’t provide. To students, their ideas are being stifled, instead of being built upon and growing with each new piece of information. Students should be allowed to be wrong. People learn by failure or their mistakes. Currently lesson plans aren’t allowing for students to speak out or state their opinions. Instead they’re given a PowerPoint and asked to regurgitate cold facts versus adapting to multiple cognitive styles.
  • There is a lack of challenge or stimulation. This idea usually applies to the outstanding students whose knowledge goes beyond the average. Students who are deemed gifted in school aren’t given the same attention as the average or below-average student. Instead, they are shuffled off to the library to further research a topic or write twice as many essays as their peers. These students need to be challenged just as much as the next student, and not giving them that opportunity is robbing them of a love for learning and a proper education.
  • Cognitive styles aren’t being met. People learn in different ways, not just one, so why is only one or two learning styles met in a classroom? Cognitive styles are ways in which students retain information. The categories include; visual, physical, logical, aural and verbal. Usually, only the verbal cognitive style is being met, AKA reading and taking notes, or a teacher directing a lesson and the student taking notes. To get the ultimate education, a student needs to be exposed to several cognitive styles in order to retain information successfully.
  • Maybe parents are to blame. Children foremost learn behavior from their parents. Parents have an enormous hand in their child’s development. When a parent didn’t enjoy school as a kid or has a negative attitude to education, their kin follow suit. Parents should make it a priority to give their child every opportunity they can, so keep any educational prejudices to yourself moms and dads.
  • Healthy student-teacher relationships aren’t made. Teachers aren’t encouraged to create meaningful relationships with their students, therefore, students typically learn to mistrust their teachers. Test scores, test scores, test scores. Teachers are pushed to produce students who have high test scores. This causes a rift between teacher and student because the lessons they’re learning aren’t meaningful anymore. The educational material then becomes dull and both teacher and student become frustrated. What happened to the passion behind teaching? There aren’t healthy bonds forming in the classroom, which makes the environment difficult to learn in because it seems so harsh and cold.

Education matters. It creates bright, intelligent and caring citizens of our world. Without a love for learning, proper care in lesson planning and healthy student-teacher relationships, there is a lack of passionate learners in the world. Now that we’ve identified reasons why you may not be an enthusiastic student, it is your job to do something about it. An enthusiastic student seeks out all the opportunities education can hold, so break the rut. Discontinue the vicious cycle of a “bored student.” Create a love for life-long learning within yourself.

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Why Major-Shaming Needs To Be Killed and Buried

Major-shaming is judging someone for their choice of degree--usually directed towards degrees that have a stigma for not being very lucrative.
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Major-shaming is the act of judging someone silently or otherwise based on their choice of degree in higher education. Usually, major-shaming is directed towards those degrees that society assumes are useless. This assumption comes from a misconception that certain majors--usually in the arts or the humanities--aren't lucrative career options, and those pursuing them are simply wasting their time and money. Major-shaming is that moment of awkward silence after I nonchalantly make conversation with a customer at my job by saying that I attend the university that's a very short walk away from the store. "Oh, what do you study?", the well-put-together looking brunette asked. "English", I replied simply with a involuntary customer service smile. English is just the long story short version. My choice usually seems a little bit more practical when I include the double minor in writing (literary writing) and Shakespearean and Renaissance literature. This brief moment of judgement has been something I've felt my whole life. Any degree in the arts, social studies, literature, etc.; subjects that are all perfectly respected within the realm of the k-12 school system, are the subject of derision in society when it comes to higher education. Maybe not overt derision, but that's always what's hiding behind the polite smile of the professional woman getting her green smoothie, or any other adult authority figure that thinks college is just for spending 4 years to make as much money as possible.

Take this helpful meme that details the life of an English major. Pay careful attention to the "parents". "society". and "other majors" sections. This is an accurate depiction of the stigma I previously mentioned, the parents (representing the baby boomer, gen y, older figures that primarily make up society) think that the English major makes no money and likely also feels that a degree in English is a waste of their funds. Of course, this is an example of privilege as not everybody's parents can or do pay their way for college; if I could raise my hand at the moment I would, because I'm that liberal arts English major whose parents are not a middle class couple complaining about the way tuition is being spent. Surprisingly, when one is a first generation student and comes from a lower-income family, parents are more supportive of an unconventional major. My parents were simply impressed, and my grandfather told me that he's excited to possibly see me on CNN one day.
Are they naïve? That would be the case if you think that having an excess amount of money is the goal of college. "Society" seems to in the meme's example, as the example is of a homeless man. A bit offensive and out of touch, but it's a meme not a Teen Vogue article, so I don't actually expect a high amount of "woke". According to Forbes, the number one highest earning college major is Petroleum Engineering and the lowest is Early Childhood Education. Most of the high earning majors list consisted of various types of engineering, and several entries on the lowest list were similar to the lowest earning in that they were different types of teaching jobs. The question that came to me after reading Forbes' listicle/slideshow was: somebody's gotta do it, right? When discussing the financial gain projected from college majors, the stigma that less money=useless inevitably follows and that is where society fails to understand the true meaning of a career. A job is work that you do in order to make money; a career is continuously doing something you love and turning your passion into profit. The dictionary definition of a career is similar to my own as it refers to a career as a "personal calling". College is not about finding a job. You can do that anywhere. College is about finding and preparing for your career. The traditional way that college has been approached is about finding, but in the modern age more college students come from lower-income families and those students are often more practical in that they focus on preparing themselves for the career that they've already planned.


Those who have had to struggle more in life know that if they're going to college at all they have to have a plan, and the reality that most adults won't tell you is that the humanities degrees that are often dismissed as useless are marketable. Forbes says that 51% of those with a degree in English literature feel underemployed, but the truth of your major is that you are not only studying literature, and learning how to analyze texts. As an English major, you have an asset that most job seeking young adults do not: you know how to write, and you know how to write well. Communication is highly valuable in any workplace and there are plenty of jobs for English majors that aren't "teacher"--not that there's anything wrong with teaching, but English majors are often pigeonholed into this profession along with the stigma that it isn't a major that can lead to careers where you really use your degree.


When I was a kid I wanted to be a journalist, but as I got older my dream became published author. It still is truly, and that was how I marked myself to my liberal arts university. I applied early and in my personal statement I stated my dream and that my goal in attending Oglethorpe was to hone my skills as a writer and someday live my dream of being published. Oglethorpe was the perfect place for me for several reasons: they give hella scholarships even though they're a private university, the environment is very welcoming, campus is gorgeous, the unique liberal arts form of education doesn't force me to take the general education math and science courses that public universities would. Ogle's core program is writing intensive and allows me to take courses that help me focus on my major from the start of freshman year.


Math and science is constantly advertised as what you should pursue to make money. Money is seen as the end, the means don't altogether matter, but if you ask society they better be practical. Ever since the third grade math has been my worst school subject. I don't dislike it now, but I've always enjoyed it best when I actually understood things--and I do accurately enough understand math, ask my SAT scores, but wait for senior year of college for me to actually study it again (math core is required, but definitely not as intense as actual math. I call it 'English major math', purely ironically). In my junior year of high school, I felt most confident in my math skills. This sense of sureness in my math knowledge only occurred because I had the best teacher. She made math fun and accessible to everyone and even held math tutoring sessions for the SAT on Saturdays (with OJ and donuts!). Nancy was great, still is, but one day in class we weren't doing much and she ended up discussing the best ways to pursue higher education. She stressed math, science, and --big surprise-- engineering. I was probably the only one perturbed by this, because we are brainwashed from a young age to believe that money is the end and the means shouldn't be important.
As I mentioned, you CAN make money as an English major. Forbes suggests careers in communications (pretty much public relations), various types of editors, senior writers, technical writers, content strategists, and other forms of digital communication as career options for English majors (and those who major in other humanities degrees) that earn $70,000-$90,000 a year. I myself have (hopefully not pipe) dreams of being a high ranking editor at a publishing company, and plan to work at a publishing house after graduation. The focus on communication is why a lot of college students (and personal friends, shout out) double major in English and Communications or minor in communications or technical writing. I wondered before if my degree would be better suited with a communications minor, or a focus in technical writing rather than literary, but my academic advisor--a lovely Ogle professor--told me that the specific focus doesn't matter so much, because you have the skills that a company would need regardless of specific focus.



Digital work is one of the best sources of work for English majors, and odyssey is a clear example. Writing for odyssey has begun my online presence as a professional writer and gotten me almost 150 linkedin connections. The platform serves as a valuable way to start your online presence, and practice your skills in preparation for earning money writing articles for online magazines and platforms like Bustle. There are other platforms you could utilize for this purpose as well, such as Medium. However, my greatest resource in finding out just how lucrative my major could be is Dear English Major--an online blog that interviews English majors about their education history, first job after graduation that's related to their major, and their current job. This site sheds a great light on exactly where and how English majors find work, and gives great inspiration to undergrads like me.


No one will receive inspiration and become motivated to gain a degree in something they love, if society constantly demeans majors in the humanities. End major shaming. It's archaic, and just another way for older adults to trash talk millennials as lazy and not hard-working. In the digital age hire a "grammar Nazi". Learn how to market your degree. Own it. Be the alumni that interviewed me during a scholarship competition for Ogle that majored in Philosophy and got employed by Google, because of his ability to communicate. Be that guy. But most importantly, be who you are and say no to pigeonholing.










Cover Image Credit: glozine.com

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College Is A Privilege

Getting the most out of your college experience matters. Here's how you can turn your learning experience around completely.
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College is a privilege. It is something that most people have a hard time affording, and it is something that many people would be grateful to experience. By sitting in class and soaking in all the knowledge you can, you are expanding an education that many people don’t have.

However, in college, sometimes you see people who don’t care as much or aren't as grateful for their education. They sit on their phones and play on their laptops while the teacher may drone on about some boring subject. Trust me, I’ve been there before, I know sometimes college can be boring and can practically suck the life out of you. I used to be one of the students that would text in class and I would even whisper to my friends.

That was the old me. Now, I understand that the people who do these things are being completely disrespectful to their professors or teachers. You paid to be in school. You pay your teacher’s salary. By paying for these things, most would assume that you want to be in the class, but when you don’t focus, you give off the body language of not wanting to be there.

The unfortunate thing about sitting on your phone or not giving full attention to the teacher, is that you are wasting your own money. You are also giving up an opportunity to expand your knowledge and get something out of a class.

I was lucky to have shifted my body language when I did. I learn every day, even when it seems boring. I reach out and take the opportunities that are given to me every day. I pay attention and respond, even if I may be wrong. I take the time to do my homework and really understand it. I sit in my classes and I stay there until the professor is done talking and dismisses the class, even though everyone around me packs their bags and stands. I try to make connections with my professors and I ask them questions frequently. By doing this, I get the most out of the education I pay for, and learn so many things every day.

This change that I made to my education and learning style was the best change that I could have made. I am getting my money’s worth and I know that I can appreciate my professors, the knowledge I gain and the connections I make.

Being in college is really a chance of a lifetime, so take the opportunity and shift your body language to one of learning. Participate, engage and learn, then maybe you will get something out of your classes and out of college in general.

Maybe you will have a better experience.

Cover Image Credit: Wikimedia Commons

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