High School; The Preparation For College Graduate, or College Dropout?


Michael Cheser

If you have attended college, did you feel prepared once you found out what it was like? If you haven’t attended college do you feel like you are being prepared for what you imagine college to be like? If you have answered No, to one of these two questions I feel the same way.

As a college freshman I have been introduced to an entire new lifestyle. Most people go in thinking that classes will be like high school just bigger classes; because their teachers were “preparing them for college” the entire time they were there. I felt this exact same way going into my freshman year, what I soon found out though was most ordinary classes (not lectures) are the same size and a lot of times even smaller than the classes in my high school. I also realized that college was quite different from high school; I knew I could skip whenever and no one would smack me on the wrist. What I didn’t realize is that I was going to have to eat, drink, and sleep thinking about school work.IMG_2995

In high school I would be told two weeks ahead you have a test coming up over “blah blah blah” in college you are given a syllabus with all exams, quizzes, and project/papers due dates listed. The teachers don’t say, “Alright class, next Friday you will be turning in your final draft of your essay.”

In college you walk in and the teachers say, “Alright class, everyone needs to hand in there essays. If you don’t have it than it is a zero.” It’s the same with exams; you come in knowing you have an exam because you were given the date the very first day of class. The teacher does not tell you the night before to remember that you have a test the following day. This was one major thing I had to get used to, the independence of keeping my classes in line with no one else’s help. One major bit of advice is to keep an agenda with every assignment and test plugged in from day one.

In high school you are treated very lightly and they claim to be preparing you for college. Therefore as a student you believe that you are being prepared for college. When asked if upon graduation he felt prepared for college, Cole Gilbert answered, “I felt good upon leaving high school about taking on college. I thought I had been prepared adequately, especially being enrolled in tougher classes.”

A lot of high school students do not have to work very hard to get their standard diploma. It is more of a show up, listen in class, do your classwork, and you have easily passed the class. There is not much required outside of your everyday class work. If there is than it is typically pretty simple, just busy work in attempt to keep students minds on classes outside of school. Though this is not enough to prepare them for what they will encounter once they have enrolled in a higher education school or university.

According to Cato.org Public School Grads Unprepared for College, Work 39% of 1,487 students surveyed said that they were not prepared for college. Of the students who said they were extremely prepared for college 31% of them still had to take remedial level courses their first year of college.DF_01_1

This shows that there is a major lack of preparation for high school students in the US because students who believe to be prepared are still taking remedial classes. I believe one way to better prepare students for collegiate level courses is they need to be pushed much harder in their local high schools. From self-experience I believe one way students could be prepared better for college is by giving them more work to do outside of the classroom. As a high school student you will hate that statement but once in college, it begins to settle and make more sense. When I asked Gilbert if he felt like he had a lot of homework consistently, and if he felt the need to study much for tests he stated, “I felt as long as you paid attention in class and did the homework you were fine, and I barely ever felt overloaded with homework, it was very sporadic.” This shows that students do not have much work to do outside of the classroom which is the complete opposite of what they will find when beginning college. Gilbert believed he was prepared for college upon graduation, but when asked if he had changed his mind after attending college he stated, “My first semester of college, I realized I wasn’t nearly as prepared as I thought. I found it hard to study and didn’t feel like my study habits had exactly been brought up to par.”

With these statements from Gilbert I decided to ask another student whom attended a different school in a completely different state. Diana Ortiz states, “After being in college, I felt high school prepared me following the first couple of quizzes and tests. It was hard but it wasn’t impossible and I thought that was the goal.” She followed this up with, “I could have been better prepared by being worked harder. Even though I enjoyed senior year being easy, college is not. It gets a lot harder really fast and doesn’t really work into it.” With this being said it seems to me that high schools intensions are good. They want to help their students get into college and succeed. However they do not seem to be preparing students for the work load they are going to be given.

When beginning, college students are not ready for the amount of work it takes to succeed. There is a lot of free time in college, student are not going to school for a full seven hours a day five days a week as they do in high school. The average student takes about twelve credit hours each semester. This means they are in class about twelve hours a week, which is about twenty three hours less than they are used to in high school. With this the average amount of time spent in the classroom is shortened by 66% a week. That means students are gaining less in the classroom and must spend more time studying and doing homework to retrieve the information needed to pass their courses.

I believe in order for students to be more successful in college teachers need to push students harder not only in the classroom but outside the classroom. A lot of teachers take it easy because students have sports and extra circular activities outside of school. But when it comes down to it, making their time management easier is not a way to help them. By forcing students to manage their time wisely with more on their agenda, is a huge part in their success. This is because students will have a lot of free time and probably lose track of what they are actually in college to do; or they will have a lot of stuff to get done and not know how to manage their time sufficiently to get the work done on time. Therefore they need to know how to manage their time more wisely.

College is all about study habits, ability to manage time well, and the ability to accept the fact that you no longer have someone holding your hand throughout your every move, every day. Teachers need to be less of a friend to students and more of an authority figure. Teachers need to make their classrooms more like a college classroom. Students should feel as if they must study to succeed and not that they can kiss the teachers ass, show up, and get the grade. Gilbert gives one good example of how he believes schools could better prepare students for college, “Honestly, I think the teachers shouldn’t cut students as many breaks as they do for students. Minimal extra credit and AP courses should be set up more like a lecture-style class, no homework, your grade would be based off of tests alone, it’s kind of harsh, but that’s how college is, so you should prep for that, especially if you’re enrolled in AP courses. I think it would definitely help to develop students study habits, and help to get them in the habit of meeting with teachers for help and seeking tutoring.”images

Ortiz followed right up on what Gilbert said with this statement, “Schools could incorporate the college type of learning and testing style more into their system. Schools grading periods and time between homework and quality of homework are very different.”

If schools worked on changing a few of these things students would leave high school much better prepared for college than they are now. It is time for students to go into college and look back at their high schools and think, “Wow, I hated that my teachers were tough when sitting in their classroom but now I realize why they were doing what they were doing.”

Are We Even Living Our Own Lives???


Michael Cheser

Have you ever felt like a robot doing exactly what society wanted you to do every day of your life? You just go to work, sit at the same desk in the same little cubical, doing the same bullshit you have done for the past ten years. You get paid enough to support your family, with the occasional vacation when your company has a good year, but you don’t make enough to fulfill any dreams you have. You are just living your life to get by. You question yourself, “Am I even living life? Am I even alive?”

This came to my mind when I was watching a video with a friend of mine. We were browsing the internet and on YouTube we found a video made by the Red Bull Team using “Go Pro” video cameras. The video sparked conversation about how big life really is. We thought about how the majority of people just live life the way society makes them. They’re like robots doing the exact same thing every day of their lives leading a lifeless, boring life. Then you see these people who are getting paid to jump out of airplanes and push the limits of life itself.

Red Bull Team Space Jump.

Red Bull Team Space Jump.

We can’t all get paid to do things like this, but what is life if we don’t live it to its full potential? Not everyone should up and decided to jump from a plane; however, the world would be such a better place if people had a little life in them. If people lived a little and said, “The hell with society! I am going to live my life as I want to, not work this job because it is what pays the best, but I am going to work this job because it is what I love doing.”

A discussion I had with another friend of mine was about politics, which I will not get into, but it relates with this topic. When our country was first born it was brought up because people were not afraid to stand up for what they believed in. The Civil Rights movement may have never happened if Martin Luther King Jr. hadn’t decided to stand up for what he believed in. He was not afraid of death because he knew what he was doing was greater than his own life. If he was killed standing up for what he believed in, then he would have died for what he believed in.

In today’s society, part of our problem as a country is people do not know how to stand up and fight for what they believe in; therefore, they are pushed around by the man with all the power. Everyone continues to follow in these footsteps and it has just become a regular everyday thing, to do exactly what the man with money says.

People are afraid of death when really, death is a natural inevitable. So consider this, would you be happier dying at a younger age than most, but having lived life to its upmost potential? Or, would you rather die old having lived a boring life, following the rules of society, and accomplishing nothing in your lifetime other than making enough money to put food on the table? Feeding your family is not a bad thing in any means, and if that means working for “The Man” then do so. However don’t let that be the only thing in your life outside of work. Live life to its full potential.

Over time people have lost the real meaning of life. Some may look at this and criticize my statement and tell me I am an idiot with no real understanding on life, but if you really look at it and consider what you will look back at upon death, will you have really lived the life you wanted to?

Don’t waste your life. Live it to the fullest. Follow your dreams. To follow your dreams, you may have to follow society. If your dream is to be an artist then fight for that dream; if it’s to be a great lawyer then be a great lawyer. Don’t always listen to everyone else and waste your life doing what others tell you you should do.

 

 

(This is a video of the Red Bull Team living life to the fullest. I look at this as living life for the thrill of it. Pushing all limits doing some amazing things to just live life.)

Lashzone… Is College a Scam or Something We Need?


Lashzone… Is College a Scam or Something We Need?

Have you ever considered colleges being scams to just take your money? Do you feel as if society forces you into a certain field of work to do a job that you don’t want but it makes the money?
Last Friday a friend and I were walking through campus to go pick up our books from the bookstore when I received an email; the email was from Lashzone with a subject line reading, “We need your help.” At first I assumed this email was some sort of scam, the third sentence of the email said this, “We are trying to make this painful path of brain torture a bit easier, a path that will get these poor students nowhere but to make them the future slaves of society.” When I read this I was baffled at what seemed to be legitimate stupidity. The entire email was trying to get people to support them and make them known. This sounded like the Kony of 2013, as in it sounded like another stupid organization trying to persuade people into their beliefs.Lashzone
I decided to do a little more research on this so called Lashzone to better understand what it is they were up to. I quickly found a YouTube video that they had put together for advertisement. The video was all about college and how they believe college is a waste of time. They explain that we as students attend college, go to school with a specific profession in mind, and these professions are usually chosen because of the income that they are known to bring in after graduation.
The first scene in the video is a man in a car driving down the road ranting on about how society drives us to choose a certain profession. His example is a man going to school to be an accountant; he says, “I think 90% of people out there they do what they do to survive. You go to college to become an accountant. Do you think that guy wants to become an accountant? He went to college to become an accountant to because it pays 37 thousand dollar a year and he can have his wife, kids, a minivan, and a f**king house. You get to f**king work you work your eight hours, you go home, and you get your paycheck at the end of the week. What kind of life is that, then you’re 62 years old and you retire for three years then you die of f**king prostate cancer or some f**king crazy shit. I mean think about it.”
With this intro to the video they set you up for what is coming next. The topic of the video is that the government controls our decisions. The government persuades us to choose a specific career path because what the government needs pays the highest. People choose these jobs but that does not mean that they like what they do for a living, they are just doing it because the government secretly forces them to do it; not by saying they must do this but through the aspect of a larger income.

A picture made by Lashzone to show what it is they are doing.

A picture made by Lashzone to show what it is they are doing.

This keeps people from doing the things they love, as a kid they played the guitar and their dream was to be a musician however in the big scheme of things people told them not to be a musician because that is not what everyone else wants them to do. The message they are giving is don’t worry about what other people think you should do, but do what will make you happy in the end. However people do not do that because they have been raised to know that the only way to be successful is through getting a degree and becoming what the top job is. This is where schools come into play; they do not look at or favor creative things such as art or music so many talented people believe that they are not creative enough and settle for something that institutions pay more attention to such as doctors or engineers. People believe that if they do not attend college than they will fail and not be worthy of holding a position in the world.
The argument that Lashzone is giving is that college is a scam to make money and is forcing people to do what society thinks is best, when it may not be best for them. As for my opinion I am not here to argue that Lashzone’s opinion is right or wrong. I believe that in some ways they are correct and wrong in others.
I believe where they are correct is, that schools from the moment someone starts kindergarten they’re immediately saying they must go to college. Everything is in preparation for college all the way up through high school; but sometimes college is not for some people so why focus all the attention on getting their core content scores up. The students whom are creative and have the ability to do magnificent things but cannot solve a calculus problem are looked down upon. These students are told that their creativity means nothing and the only way to succeed is to become what society thinks is best. This happens every day; schools are cutting out physical education courses, drama classes, art classes, and other non-core classes. This is because they believe math, science, reading, and English are the only things that students need to focus on. Institutions are telling students they will never be an artist when really they could become an artist live a happy life and make good money if they set their mind to it. They may not be making 100 thousand dollars a year like doctors but at least they are happy doing what it is they are doing.
Where I disagree with Lashzone is that they believe that college is an all-around scam. Yes, college is very expensive and they do keep people around for a while; however a general education is good for everyone. Also having a degree will better suit people for their future; I do not think that college is a complete scam because it is clearly not. People graduate college every year live happy lives and make decent amounts of money doing what they want to do, not everyone is creative some people just live to be doctors and lawyers, and there is nothing wrong with this because as a society we need people to hold these jobs. People attend college to get an education to better prepare themselves for the outside world. They can also go to college and study most artist degrees, I myself am a Film Major I am studying to one day become a movie director. This degree is one that society does look down upon and I do not necessarily need to go to school to be good at directing movies, however having the education helps me learn more that I may not pick up on my own. College can also help people establish a basis for their future; people will meet people who can easily help them build connections to better they future career.
I believe what Lashzone is trying to get out is a good message. In the beginning I thought it was a bunch of crap but as I looked deeper and thought more about it I began to agree more with them. It is really your own opinion when it comes to whether or not college is a scam or that society controls the way we live our lives. My opinion is that yes, society does control our lifestyles but there is no reason that they should because all in all we can be whoever we want to be and do whatever we want to do because in the end when you look back happiness will always overpower a boring life full of money.

How Do Schools Kill Creativity


I found this video when searching around on the internet. I really like the speaker Sir Ken Robinson, he is a great speaker and what he says makes sense. If you are a person who thinks that schools are killing creativity, that focus should not be all on the “Core Content,” and that we should utilize students creative sides instead of telling them that it is a waste then take 12 minutes out of your day and watch this video. It is not only a very cool video but sends a good message.

Where Do We Find Happiness?


Where Do We Find Happiness?

Happiness… Many people find it in many different ways. Some in experiences, others through money, and some many find happiness chasing their dreams.

When we think of happiness we ask ourselves what would make me happy? When I think of happiness I look at what I have accomplished with my life. I do not need money or items to be happy. I find happiness by chasing dreams, and accomplishing things that people have told me I could not do.

Happiness

One of the biggest things in my life making me happy right now is the fact that I am in college and doing very well. When I first told my parents I would be attending Western Kentucky University to study Film they were a little unhappy. My father did not think that Film was a good career choice for it does not provide a definite job after graduation. He was also a little worried for WKU is known as a party school, however I have changed his mind after the first semester. I ended my semester with a GPA above a 3.0 which was very good and made my dad proud because he did not think I would make it and instead would party myself right back home. My mother though the opposite she was happy I was leaving our small hometown and also happy I was pursuing something that I enjoyed rather than a job that would provide me with a lot of money.

My dads way of thinking is understandable, he wants his son to do something that will have a positive outcome shortly after graduation. Like most people these days he finds his happiness through money more than anything. Not saying this is all he cares about because his family (my sisters and I) mean a lot to him and he enjoys making us happy. However being financially stable allows him to live happier because he is not stressed.

I think more like my mother though. She does not make a lot of money but yet finds her happiness through the things she does. Her happiness comes straight from her children, if we are happy then so is she. Taking us on vacations and providing for us makes her happier than having all the money in the world would. This is also not saying that having all the money in the world would not make her happy but that’s not what she worries about.  Yes, that would make things easier but lives not always easy if it were always easy then there would be no challenges to prove us a reason for living.

Many people live their lives to make as much money as possible. They want to become lawyers, doctors, and engineers to make loads of money so they can have big houses, nice cars, and anything else they want. But does having an unnecessarily large house or a five million dollar car really create the ultimate happiness?

Yes, we all want to be successful and make money so that we will not have to struggle to pay the bills and support our family but in order to be successful you must be happy otherwise you are just successful for others and not yourself which leads you to live an unhappy life. Success comes from happiness. If you’re not happy than you are not truly successful. In order to be happy do not chase money instead chase your dreams.

Think about what you have always dreamed of doing. If that is to travel the world and take pictures then don’t settle for a desk job where you are trying to make money to take a trip to another country. Make your goal to become a photographer where you get to go to several different countries rather than just one. It may be a dream but it does not mean that it cannot one day be a reality. I have always thought being rich would be the best thing in the world but when I finally realized what life has to offer money is at the bottom of the list. My dream is to live a good life support a family and to see the entire world. I am going to film school and one day I would love to take that and use it in some way where I can travel the world and share things I have learned through video with the world.

Do not think that certain things cannot be done because they are just dreams of yours, instead think that would be amazing so I am some now going to make it happen if you want something you can get it, it may not be easy but once you get there the hard work will pay off and you will in turn be happy.

Like me your parent or parents may want you go to school to be what the world thinks is a good job that makes good money and economically is a good decision; but is that what you want to do? If you want to pursue a career as an artist but no one believes in you then take that and use it as the fire to light your path to success and happiness. There is nothing you cannot do and those who tell you otherwise are those who are unhappy because they did not do what they wish they had done with their lives.

Before you make your big decision on how you will spend your life think about what you want to see yourself doing in 10 or 15 years from now. If you want to be sitting at a desk making lots of money designing buildings then go for it as long as you will be happy with your decision. Others may not want to sit at a desk their entire life but instead work for a newspaper in New York City this may seem like an unrealistic job but if that is want you want to do then know that it will be hard and if may take time but you can do it.Wake Up & Live

Never let someone tell you that you “can’t” do something because you “can” do whatever you want to do as long as you believe in yourself and fight for what you want. Always remember, success comes from happiness. If you’re not happy than you are not successful. I order to be happy do not chase money instead chase your dreams. If you live by this you may not be the richest person in the world with a big house but you will live a happier life than the guy who spend every day in an office dreading his job to afford the nice car he drives to work everyday.

Beliefs Are Our Own Opinion


So I am reading a Facebook status posted by a friend and it is a very harsh status and you can clearly see that he is well beyond mad. He is upset because someone has brought up the fact that he does not believe in God or that he is atheist and is belittling him for his beliefs.

I myself am a Christian and attend church as much as possible. Now as a Christian we are taught not to look down upon someone for their beliefs but to help them come to know God. I have two friends who I wouldn’t trade for anyone and one of them is whom I am talking about. They are both there for me anytime I need them and I would always do the same for them and neither of them believes in God. This does bother me because I want my best friends to know God, but I would never look at them differently as a person because a belief is your own opinion.

In the church we learn to always try and bring people to know Christ, and I will always do this, however if a person does not want to attend church I will not force the person because again your belief is your own.

My friend whom I am referring to is upset because someone who claims to be a “Christian” does not agree with his beliefs but if this person was a true Christian they would know that instead of bringing someone down because of their beliefs we should acknowledge their right to their own belief. If we believe that this person should come to know God then we can help them do so, but telling someone they are worthless because they do not believe is not going to make them want to know God all this is doing is giving Christians a bad reputation.

My main reasoning for this post is to say as Christians we should not belittle another person’s beliefs but show them respect for what they believe in. If someone does not believe that there is a God that is their own opinion. The only thing I can do is try to show the person what I believe and hope that maybe they can come to believe what I do.

People can read this and say well you are practically saying that there is a God and that I am disagreeing with their own opinions but this is not what I am trying to do. Yes, I do believe there is a God as a Christian I will tell you that I do believe in God. I will show you the bible and give you facts on why he is real but if this does not make you believe then that again is your own opinion and I will not disrespect you for that.

No matter what our race, religion, or belief we are all equal and can come together to form one great thing.

Over all we all have our own beliefs and any of us could be correct. I have never seen heaven with my own eyes and I have walked beside Jesus Christ, but neither have people who don’t believe. So it proves that they are all opinionated beliefs and one day when we pass away we will know for sure.

For now I am always going to believe in God and tell everyone who asks that I believe he exists and my friend can tell people that he does not believe in God and he can explain his reasoning. These two different believes will not come between our friendship because we both respect others beliefs as long as they respect ours.

Agree to Disagree – Chick-Fil-A Drama


I’m am not condemning or trying to bring anyone down but here is my opinion on this issue. I know we are all tired of hearing about it but, this issue really is something our generation needs to pay attention to. This whole Chick-Fil-A deal isn’t just about gay rights; it’s also about our right to freedom of speech.
First things first let me clear something up; CEO Dan Cathy said he supported “traditional marriage.” He did not single out the gay community in particular. I grew up going to a Christian school, for Christians, traditional marriage is one virgin man and one virgin woman leaves their parents and come together as one in a monogamous relationship. He may not agree with the gay community, but he didn’t single them out.
So why is a simple opinion getting blown out of proportion like this? If this situation was flipped, I promise this wouldn’t have gotten the press that it has. How has it gotten to the point in our country that you can say what you want as long as it agrees with what I think and if it doesn’t I’m going to completely blacklist you. I understand that no one will agree 100% of the time. I understand that the constitution grants us the freedom of speech, but doesn’t protect us from criticism from the opposing viewpoint. But doesn’t it protect us from discrimination based on those beliefs? Why can’t we just agree to disagree instead of acting like children when they don’t get their way?


I’m not saying I agree with Dan Cathy’s views, but I respect his opinion and his right to it. And so I agree to disagree and move on. I will still eat at Chick-Fil-A and you can be damn sure I went to Chick-Fil-A day simply because I support their right to their opinion, even if it’s not the same as mine.