Where College Failed Me This Quarter

This quarter of college has been one, out of my now two, least challenging. It has felt like a burden and a waste of my energy to be suffering through class every day, unable to focus. I wanted to take more writing, to further my major in creative writing, but instead I was forced into a history-oriented writing class, where our overall goal was to compose a 15 pp. research paper, that connected to a social movement.

As an informed millennial, of course I’m up to date and aware of the socioeconomic struggles that we, as a society, are facing and there’s the whole tragedy of Donald Trump running for office, but that’s another disappointment for its own article. I decided to write on women’s rights and feminist movements, inspired by Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign, but focused on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter to further and connect my narrative.

I started with Hawthorne and branched out to write about Easy A, one of my favorite films, and their depiction of a scarlet letter. The connection was not hard to draw, and I finished my paper with no problems. But did I gain anything? Not really. All of these thoughts and connections had already been spinning in my head and, only having nine weeks to complete, I had to use source material I was already familiar with. I didn’t have time to read more or watch new films.

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On top of our paper, we had a book every week that we were assigned to read, as well as multiple journal articles from Ta-Nehisi Coates and others. While substantial to read, we had to decide whether to focus on the assigned class readings, or continuously work on our research papers to produce something decent. I focused on my paper, because while working 30hrs. a week at Starbucks and writing weekly for Untitled TV, TV Fanatic, Talk Nerdy With Us, and Starry Magazine, I just didn’t have time to work in everything. Neither did the rest of the 50 students in my class, whom feel similar to I do about the usefulness of this class. Having two professors for 50 students, in the way my liberal arts college is structured, was useless. There weren’t enough professors to get us down in size to have decent conversations about the material.

Today, I’m turning in my 15 pp. paper and I’m severely disappointed in it. I acknowledge that I did a decent writing job and got my ideas across clearly, but it’s not writing I want my name on. It was forced, uninfluenced and I didn’t have the chance to expand my own knowledge of the topic(s) because I was trying to juggle to much. I got more out of my writing experiences for the multiple sites listed above over the past ten weeks than this class. Not just because they involve the writing I enjoy, but because I had an audience to challenge me and had to prove my knowledge based on specific facts.

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