I read a story from the AP wire. A survey among 2300 college students found that 45 percent of subjects show no improvement in critical thinking, complex reasoning and writing by the end of their sophomore year. After two years, and thousands of dollars, either paid by parents or the feds, most students make no progress.
From what I'm able to remember of my first to years of undergraduate, lack of recollection due partially to time, and the rest to inebriation, there was very little intellectual stimulation. A student without a firm foundation in principles and character is easily swept away by the collegiate social society and the ever steady flow of keg spout.
But even with all of the possible diversions increased learning was still possible. I knew several students whom after drenching their livers with whiskey wells all night were able to pull more than mediocre GPAs. But perhaps they were deviant cases. Freaks of the intellectual sort, whose extraordinary mental capacities far remove them from comparison to the common student.
I never failed a class in the first two years of college. I wasn't a serious student, but there was no way I would risk repeating core classes.
Algebra, geography, geology, o my. Let's get this over with.
I remember hearing constant complaining about repeating remedial courses. A freshman comes straight from high school with the desire to be taken seriously and the anxiousness to dive into study of perspective majors, only to find they must take 2 histories, 1 math, 2 lab sciences, etc.
Perhaps, the core courses are all about character. Working for something you want, by doing something you dread. But I don't believe today's student has the patience. The world is moving faster every day, whether it's new processors or the latest smartphone. Waiting may not be ideal for a generation that does almost everything expeditiously.
I Shamelessly got A's when I wanted them. English, Literature and Music were my 4.0 trinity. I could have done better in my other courses in those first two years, but I wasn't motived. When I got to courses associated my major things changed because they had to. I was interested in the class, and if I wasn't making lower than a C meant a semester wasted. I made a B in my first class of graduate school and my advisor said:
"Bradley, this is not a good start man."
Perhaps the threat of failure and repeats should be an educational standard.
Distractions included, there was no excuse for poor performance.
Education is a gift.