So we go through 4 years of high school and think things can’t get much more complicated than what we’re going to wear to prom or who was seen holding whose hand in the hallway. Then… college comes along. It’ll be the best 4 years of your life, they always say but after hunting down money to pay for tuition, rummaging through amazon.com and eBay to find the most expensive book for the cheapest price with the least highlighter marks in it and then finally reaching graduation, I can’t help but wonder… was all of the work really worth it?
It’s no secret that college life is hard. Between working, socializing, networking… oh and did I say socializing, making it to class and most importantly making the grade can get complicated. So, I reached out to a few juniors (because lets face it, we still have time to make some changes if necessary) to see just how prepared they feel for the ‘real world.’
Natalia Cruz, Danielle Pena and Ivana Williams, all 20, are third year students at St. John’s who have three very different opinions about their time at STJ.
Do you think the classes you’ve taken so far have prepared you for a real career after graduation?
Danielle: Sometimes I don’t feel like I’ll be ready to teach after graduation. Some of the classes like ‘Technology in the Classroom’ stress being computer savvy while other professors tell us to focus only on the students and reserve the internet and things like that as a last resort. It can get confusing.
Natalia: I think I’ll be ok to start when I get out. A lot of my professors are still practicing law and have a lot of experience in the field so they bring all of that back into the class. I don’t think I’ve missed out on much at all.
Ivana: No, I don’t think the courses that I’ve taken have prepared me for a career. I believe that [we] need real world experience to truly be prepared but in the classes I think that more real life situations should be applied, instead of the what’s in our outdated books.
Of the classes that you’ve taken are there any you feel you absolutely didn’t need and won’t use?
Danielle: Oh man, some of the core courses are absolutely not necessary. [she said laughing] Like DNY and my Technology in the Classroom class. One minute they’re telling us to only use the internet and things like that as a last resort but 3 credits later it’s the most important thing in the world! And don’t get me started on DNY, that class didn’t do anything for me.
Natalia: DNY was not that bad Penga! [she exclaims in reference to Danielle’s answer] It wasn’t the best class in the world but I liked it for the most part. But I think they can do away with some of the Theology requirements. My major is Criminal Justice and so far I haven’t come across one situation where that class would help. I would much rather be filling that spot with an extra Forensics or Psychology classes. Sometimes I feel like I wasted my money.
Ivana: Yea that Career Horizons class! And DNY and that music class because music isn’t even a major here. It’s not even enough to really be taught anything about music because there’s not an advanced class that comes after it.
Have you ever used the Career Center?
Danielle: I’m supposed to go there to make my portfolio but I haven’t gone yet. I heard they do really well though!
Natalia: I’ll be honest I’m scared to go into the Career Center. Because if I go in there and they make me fill out one of those personality tests I’m afraid that it’ll make me second guess myself… like about my choice of major and things like that. I don’t want to come out thinking that made the wrong choice.
Ivana: The school focuses a lot on the career center and programs,” says Ivana. But these things should be happening in our classes. Everyone can’t get to the career fair, so bring the fair to us [to the classrooms]! At least one representative.
All in all I’d say the feedback I got was pretty straight down the middle. As usual we all have our grievances but for the most part I think we’ll be ok. A combination of the suggestions each of them made (that would make STJ’s academic system better) is really what’s necessary for success. A basic knowledge of the field along with actual experience is the best way to go. Education should not end in the classroom.
– Rachel S.