Lacking Depth: Our Generation's Serious Problem With Education

by Jack Corrao

Try and recall a few things off the top of your head that you were required to know by your professor for an exam in the last week. If you're able to dig up some terms or concepts, good for you. If you aren't able to recall anything, then pay close attention.

As the Earth ages, generations come and go, making their own mark on the planet. America is a very, very different place than it was just 100 years ago. However, one aspect seems to remain constant through all generations: the education system.

Education is seen as one of the most important aspects of our lives, but lately, there have been some cracks in this education system and our generation needs to obtain some glue before we crumble.

Going back to the beginning of this article, a lot of students in our generation have an interesting way of studying. They expect that just attending class will be good enough. Many students don't even open their textbooks during a semester, let alone buy it for the course. Then, a few days before the test, we freak out because we need to take notes on all the chapters, readings and PowerPoints, but can’t find the time to do them all without having a breakdown or taking Adderall.

Do you notice the problem yet?

The problem is, cramming does not help you understand the material; it only allows you to memorize. When students cram, they are so worried about remembering everything on the test that they don’t go too in-depth and question the items studied, which would allow them to understand the material and actually learn it.

If every student read the chapters assigned, when they were assigned, and understood the professor in class, they would remember a lot of material from the course long after it was over.

The reason for this is because for five months at a time, a student is repetitively exposed to this course material, which causes it to solidify in one’s head. When students cram for tests, they know the material for a few days and then it’s the weekend and it all goes out the window.

That is not the end of this catastrophic problem, however; the worst part is still to come.

Generations become older, and when they do, they become our leaders of this world. Did you figure out the worst part of the problem, yet? Your fellow colleagues, the ones who do not take school seriously, are going to be running businesses, taking care of the planet and worst of all, they are going to be teaching the next generation.

They are going to walk into their new jobs, on day one, and say to themselves, "I should have paid more attention to this stuff in college.” Most of my friends that have been accepted to the business school have cheated their way in there, and they’re supposed to be the most ethical, right? It is very scary to think of a world like this, but it’s not a nightmare; it could actually happen.

What we need to do as students is challenge ourselves to want to learn the material. You picked a major for a reason: It interests you. So why waste all the money that you or your family is paying the school? College is expensive, and if our parents knew that this is the way most students “learn,” we would all be homeschooled.

You must adopt a mind-over-matter mindset. If you live by this, you can do almost anything you set your mind to. If you believe that the chapter readings are interesting, you will find them interesting. If you believe that every single lecture is crucial and important, you will get more out of it.

If you believe that it’s not too late to change our generation’s ways, maybe something incredible could happen.

Photo via We Heart It