Reflect on reasons for school

By Ryan Pumroy & Nick Fleming

We would like to comment on the Pass/Fail column in the Oct. 16 edition of the Northern Star.

“If I don’t go to class I won’t know what will be on the test,” according to the column. This is likely true; however, what if there were no tests or midterms? What would your relationship to the class become?

What we really want to know is this — what does college mean to you? Are you here because you’re “supposed” to be? Or are you here to learn, to grow?

The “gist of growth is not the mastery of given structures and procedures but their transcendence,” according to “Adjustment and Growth: Two Trajectories of Positive Personality Development across Adulthood” by Ursula Staudinger and Eva-Marie Kessler. We owe it to ourselves to reflect honestly on our motivations and if we’re upholding the traditions of higher education or simply going through the motions.

Students must uphold their end, as must the university. Often, students and the bureaucracy butt heads over requirements, paperwork, payments, etc. These are important factors that help a university operate, but for some they unduly cast a negative shadow over the entire college experience.

Ultimately, why are we here? How many of us have truly reflected on this question? All of us, including students, faculty, staff and the administration, should try to answer these many and difficult questions.

As people who teach courses and advise students, not a day goes by in which we don’t reflect on what methods work well and which do not. This is a difficult, albeit fundamental and self-examining undertaking.