Let the countdown begin. In roughly one month, college seniors will graduate from their familiar laidback lifestyle while reality waits to give them a swift kick in the pants after they cross the stage and are nudged out the door.
Here comes more responsibility, debt, mind-numbing job searches and, of course, panic. And who can blame them? In several weeks, many seniors will add to the already hard-pressed unemployment rate. The last things on seniors’ minds are classes and homework, also known as senioritis.
It’s like a dark fog clouding seniors’ minds, rendering their brains useless for college work and following a schedule because they are thinking about what’s next. Plus, after almost 20 years of consistent homework assignments, seniors are over it. Although there are many things to think about, justifying their college years by beginning a real career should be the priority and something professors should cater to.
That three-hour time block seems insignificant when a student acknowledges how they could be spending that time sending out resumes and revising old cover letters, an effort that will produce results long after that class is over and the diploma is handed out.
If the senior is doing well in that particular class, professors should understand and be accommodating if he or she misses a day for a job interview or advising appointment. There was one instance when a professor was annoyed that people didn’t come to class, and he forbade those students from turning in next week’s homework assignment.
Toward the end of a semester, advising and portfolio center appointments become scarcer because of the end-of-the-year rush, and students need to fill in where ever there’s room. Seniors should be excused if they can show documentation that they missed class to do something productive for graduation. Because Columbia prides itself on being forward-thinking and preparing students for the future, the class attendance policy should be flexible depending on the situation.
However, there are students, especially seniors, who take advantage of the excused attendance policy. But this small group shouldn’t ruin it for the rest trying to use their last months at Columbia wisely.
There are too many other problems for seniors to worry about other than missing a class here and there to ensure they have a job upon graduating, and Columbia should be accommodating that growth, especially in this economic climate.
Battling a difficult job market is only one of many things to overcome. There’s also a lot of competition from other young people who are just as passionate and hungry for their futures, not to mention the traditional concerns of having money to live, eat, pay rent and loans.
Columbia students may have an especially difficult time applying themselves in the workforce because a lot of the college’s offered majors feature industries that cannot be broken into easily. Right now, a lot of things are hanging in the balance gearing up for graduation. While beginning a new life chapter is exciting, financially it’s quite scary, and the Columbia community should be cognizant of students’ needs and nix those strict attendance policies when necessary.