Why is First Year Experience a Requirement?

Photo Credit/ Natalie Irula Students are required to take a First Year Experience course within the first academic year as well as several other required courses.

Stephanie LeMons

News Editor

The first-year experience is mandatory for freshman and most transfer students at ESU, but their time is much better spent taking general education classes and classes for their major.

Most of what the course is attempting to teach are things students are going to learn through experience while in school.

For example, students learn where the shuttle stops are, where the financial aid office is located and who to talk to about switching majors.

I have taken this class twice now and I cannot recall a single new thing I have learned from it.

Maybe Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but even that had little effect on me outside of remembering just enough to be quizzed on it.

It feels like a waste of time.

Even after the lectures covering financial literacy and step-by-step presentations of how to switch your major, I have never left the classroom feeling that my time was well spent.

I do not want to put the blame on the professors.

I have had two different professors for FYE and it was neither of their faults that I didn’t find the class worthwhile.

Professors most likely go into the class hoping to make college easier and more enjoyable for students or helping with retention by giving students more resources sooner.

Another issue with the class is the Passport Presentation, a slideshow presentation we are required to put together to show that we left our dorms at least six times during the semester.

Making events mandatory makes them much less interesting.

Students are better off checking out events that interest them and going when it is convenient for them.

Mandatory events were the one thing I had the biggest issue with.

I would not say I have the busiest schedule, but most of my time out of class is spent working on papers, studying and trying to see friends a healthy amount.

Even if I put all campus events on my calendar ahead of time, I never really know if I can make it until that time.

I also deal with anxiety and panic attacks.

This means I have already had to miss out on events that counted for a major part of my grade because of it.

I know I am not the only one.

I also do not want to sound like I use my mental health as a crutch to get out of things.

But, not everyone can afford to take time off work or give up three hours of their evening to watch a game when they can better spend their time on truly beneficial things.

Yes, socializing and getting involved on campus is important, but forcing students to dedicate more time than they can handle on just making it to events might not be the way to do it.

For some students, it is an easy class to get an A in and move on, but not everyone has the time to put into the class.

I know most of my projects for the class are due around the time of most of my other classes.

And, although if I took a different class in place of FYE it would probably be the same thing, those assignments would benefit my major more than those for FYE.

I also know I have been more likely to procrastinate or rush assignments for this class than those for my major because I know watching TED Talks from website developers and trying to come up with something beneficial from the talk is not the best thing I can do with my time.

I could be allotted at that time to other classes that are more worth the time.

It is not worth the time, money or energy students need to put into it.

Any information worth retaining from the class can be learned elsewhere.

Students do not need to be quizzed on one man’s book about how to be successful, even though it does not pose solutions to inequalities.

Students do not need to know the ins and outs of every major.

Maybe they just some baseline knowledge they can get from talking to other students or professors.

They certainly do not need to spend extra time during finals week putting together a slideshow of mandatory events they went to as a grade.

And all this was instead of just checking out what they truly found interesting.

Making this class mandatory is a waste of everyone’s time.

Professors can spend more time focusing on teaching classes within their field.

Students can save their tuition money and just take the classes they need to fulfill other requirements.

Not all students want to be very social while in college.

Some just want to get their degrees and move on.

And that should be okay.

Allowing students to learn organically will make them more successful.

Email Stephanie at:

slemons@live.esu.edu

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