Sorry, parents, academics are up to the student


Students listening to a lecture in a Community Health class in Lincoln Hall

By Eli Schuster, Assistant sports editor for video


Parents, the time has come, and your little babies are going off to college. You’ve raised them to be the person they are today, and it’s time for them to venture off into the new world that is college.

This can be scary, understandably so, throughout their entire academic lives, you’ve been by your children’s sides. You’ve helped guide them through which classes they should take and motivated them to get top-notch grades. Well, I’m sorry to say it’s time to let go of that luxury.

It might be hard at first, but leaving behind constant educational monitoring is a must. Your children are at the point in their life where they need control over their academics. Having this control is the only way for them to grow and find themselves effectively.

Many parents have an idea of what they want their children to major in. That’s not necessarily a problem, but parents must realize their longings might not correlate directly to their children’s reality.

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Students will benefit from taking classes they want to take. Working with material that they find interesting is vitally important for a student’s success educationally. Personally, when taking a course that genuinely sparks my interest, I tend to do get a better grade. If parents are pressuring their children into taking certain courses, then their grades might be impacted accordingly.

It’s also important to note that in college a decision isn’t final. The initial major a student starts with might completely differ from what major ends up on his or her diploma. That’s what college is all about. The option of finding what fits one’s interest the best is out there and waiting to be found, so parents must remember to be patient.

I’m not saying parents shouldn’t have any role in their child’s academic decision making. Offering suggestions and voicing opinions are important, not to mention meaningful. To show you’re interested, but also understanding, can give your child pure motivation. A parent’s support is never underestimated.

I’m a journalism major, and sometimes that can be hard for people to understand. However, I love the field, and the work I do with it every day. The endless support that I get from my parents when pursuing this career gives me even more of a reason to succeed academically.

Let’s not forget that in college people are there to help as well. Academic advisors and professors have their jobs for a reason. If students are struggling in school, they will be the first to know and act accordingly. These people will be monitoring all the things parents can only dream of getting their hands on. Students really do have an endless amount of resources available. These resources will ultimately help them maneuver through college academics, and it’s up to the parents to allow their child to utilize them.

I strongly believe that college is a time for people to truly discover who they really are. The independence and responsibility presented with a college education act as powerful life lessons. For students to receive this full experience, they need to be set free.

That metaphorical kiddy leash strapped tightly to your child’s belt needs to be let go.

Eli is a sophomore in Media.