Editorial: Going for the ‘A’

During the first few weeks of school, students are busy purchasing their books, figuring out their schedules and getting into the mindset of starting off a new semester. By now, add / drop week is over, and the class rosters are relatively permanent. Yet what makes a student drop a particular class, or scurry from professor to department head to get signed into a class?

Unfortunately, a weighty part of the criteria for deciding what classes to take depends on the whether or not the class will be an “easy A” to make a resume shine.

No longer do students take a class because it seems interesting to their personal interests or because it’s an avenue left unexplored in one’s educational career. Rather, students more and more are taking classes that will improve their GPA, transcript and ultimately, resume, rather than ones that pique their interest.

In this increasingly competitive world, students look to get ahead. Unfortunately, this Darwinian mentality has affected every aspect of a college student’s life, including making the grade, perfecting the resume, acing the interview, landing the job and acquiring the “ideal” lifestyle.

Yet in the grand scheme of things, is a grade really going to weigh that heavily on one’s overall happiness? Doubtful. Is any college senior going to remember the so-called devastating grade that he or she received freshman year? Unlikely. Is a resume going to be one’s ticket to a happy life? Improbable.

So why all the hoopla for a sheet of paper to hand into a job interviewer? Isn’t each grade just another drop in the bucket that is the overall view of a student? Not according to college students who are so achievement-hungry that they will do almost anything to get to the top.

Time and time again, popular culture features students who snag the master copy of a test and sell it to other students, or who plot to confiscate the SATs in an attempt to beat the system. Granted, in this world of tight security, it is hard to believe such tales, but the ideas for such shows must be grounded in something factual. That reality is obvious right here on the Villanova campus.

Most Villanova students are not here to expand their horizons. They are not here to gain an education or knowledge about the world around them. They are not even really here to have the time of their lives. Rather, their lives are consumed with hours of fact-cramming and information-regurgitation with nothing to show for it in the end but a sheet of paper flashing a great GPA.

Is a digit between the numbers one and four an accurate depiction of your college career? Maybe, if you’re talking about the number of years spent here, but is that really all you’ll think about after graduation day?