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Editorial: Slow down and enjoy your classes

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In classes lately, there have been a lot of people kind of… checked out. They aren’t even getting distracted by their phones, they’re just spacing out on the table, an empty notebook, the blank whiteboard. The teacher will walk across the room and the student’s head in front of me won’t even turn. The second the teacher takes the slightest tone of wrapping up the lecture, notebooks are slammed shut, book-bags are zipped up and everyone dons their coats, ready to leave before the last sentence has ended.

Observing this, it has occurred to me that people are enduring their classes. These are classes that people have chosen to take and they have paid money to attend.

It’s understandable that not every teacher meshes with every student’s learning style. Maybe the class isn’t what you thought it would be when you signed up, but now you’re in too deep to drop. Maybe the weather is starting to warm up a bit and you just can’t get your summer plans out of your head.

But that doesn’t change the fact that you’re sitting in a class where someone has been paid to teach you something. Take advantage of it while you can. Living in the moment doesn’t mean being irresponsible, it means being mindfully present of where you are right now, and making the most of it.

Most of us will only spend a couple short years in college, and then it’s into the job market, where people aren’t paid to care about your future. Your future boss might not be as happy to answer repeated questions as most teachers are. Your future boss might not return your work with gentle suggestions as to how you might improve. Your future boss is might seem like kind of a jerk, compared to your teachers.

It’s often said that college is the best part of a person’s life, but a lot of students think it’s only what happens outside of class that makes it the best. Wasting away your time in class won’t make those times any better, and what happens in class can change your life, too.

Classes are where you meet new friends. Classes are where you learn about your future career. Classes are where you learn to grow into an adult (or more of an adult, if you already are one). If you tune out of lecture and remove yourself mentally from class, you are robbing yourself of those opportunities.

You’ve heard it a hundred times, ‘you get what you put in.’ Nowhere is that more true than college. It’s obvious if you think about it. If you care enough to ask questions, you’ll get answers. If you take the time to read the book, you’ll gain knowledge. Here in college, there are programs that will let you try out all sorts of new things, and gain a greater depth of knowledge in whatever catches your eye.

We only have six weeks of class left. Challenge yourself to make the last fourth of this academic year the most meaningful six weeks they can be, rather than letting this school year end with a whimper of indifference.

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