There’s something that bothers me on a more visceral level than any political disagreement with any politician ever could. While I may become vocal in my discontent from time to time with policies adopted by the Congress, or advocated by the president – they’ve really got nothing on this particular plague, as I see it.
The plague, as I called it, is a lack of class. When we came to college, we were presented with a degree of freedom that I’d bet that many, if not most, of us had never encountered. Hurray, we can run around campus at all hours of the night. Awesome, we can hit up some parties and stumble back into our respective places of residence the next morning. Sweet, we don’t have to worry about our mothers yelling at us to clean up after ourselves.
That’s the rub, right there – more than anything else. When we got here, there was a specific reason why we were entrusted with a new degree of freedom. We’re supposed to be adults, albeit young ones. Even though Mercyworld isn’t the real world, it doesn’t negate the fact that you ought to be able to act like an adult and stop acting like you’re living in your mother’s basement, waiting for your next meal to be readied for you or leaving your messes for your mom to come along and clean up after you.
That’s why I’m continually repulsed by the widespread state of affairs at most colleges, and not just our own. How many times have you walked into an apartment and felt like you just entered a locker room – seemingly 10 degrees warmer just because of the stench.
I’d like to think that most of the students at Mercyhurst plan on becoming responsible adults and professionals at some point in their lives, but the way many act here doesn’t demonstrate that very well. If you can’t take care of the things that you invested your own money in, you’re classless – and that definitely carries over to the way you present yourself day after day.
What I mean is how you dress yourself when you go to class. How do you think professors, who invest their own time even outside of class to make sure students can learn the materials presented, feel when they’re teaching to a class of people in pajamas? Would you go into a meeting at your job after college in those ratty sweats you’ve been wearing since the ninth grade?
So now, besides ranting in your inner monologue about how much of a pompous jerk I seem like, what do you do? I think the question becomes how does our generation start acting like the adults they ought to already be? I don’t propose some grand transformation, where all our apartments magically look like something from a Martha Stewart show, nor do I think that every student on campus should start attending all their classes in suits.
Instead, I’d like to propose that the students start taking an iota of pride in themselves on a daily basis. Wear some clothes that fit properly, and lose the Raggedy Ann junk. Maybe invest the grand total of three dollars on a hamper, and throw your garbage out yourself, rather than living like a mongrel, feral dog. Clean off your dishes when you use them, and amazingly you won’t ever have to worry about them piling up. Maybe, just maybe, understand what an expiration date is – you passed College Writing, so I’m fairly positive you can read.
In the real world, you’re not going to be treated like an adult unless you act like one. While our core curriculum may at times seem like it covers just about everything, including plenty you couldn’t care less about, there isn’t a class for owning up to your own actions or cleaning up after yourself.
I might sound like a jerk, but these are all things that we should have learned by about the age of 7 – and I definitely shouldn’t have to teach people at the age of 20. The thing is, if you act like a child, you get treated like a child.
More to the point, you get treated like you’ve got no class.