One month in
So I’ve made it through my first month as a college student (again). So far it is very much like what I expected it to be- which is to say not a whole lot different from the way it was 15 years ago. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is the role that technology now plays in design education. That technology also trickles over into cultural differences. I have to be much more careful riding my bike across campus these days because students are usually listening to an iPod, talking on the phone, texting, or maybe two of the three.
The biggest challenge I have faced in making the transition back to student life is the overall lack of professionalism. I am having to adjust to the fact that there is no real “boss” (especially including me). Yes, students have to answer to the faculty, but they are only really accountable for their own performance as measured by their grades. In the end, everyone remembers whom is paying to be here.
I understand the need for college students to use this time to break free from parental bonds, socialize and discover their true identities. I did the same thing. However, by the time one reaches the senior level I now believe the schools should put more emphasis on professional behavior. This would better prepare students for assimilation into the workplace where missing a deadline because you partied too hard last night could result in the loss of a multi-million dollar account, being fired fired, your car being repossessed and getting evicted from your apartment. The stakes are much higher in the the “Real World” and part of a college education should be preparing students for this.
In other words, I believe there needs to be more emphasis on personal responsibility and a better appreciation for the individuals’ roles in the workplace. As for me, I’m gaining an entirely new perspective that is likely to be more valuable than the diploma that I am seeking. With that in mind, I need to get back to work.