Editorial – Stop taking up space

With the close of the semester fast approaching we begin to notice more and more that some students really don’t seem to care about the courses that they are taking, and can’t help but think of the students that were forced out of the course due to a lack of vacancy.

We’ve all been sitting in a class, either taking a test or jotting down lecture notes, and noticed some of our fellow students are less than enthused with the class work or the subject of study. The majority of the time they are either perusing their Instagram feeds or talking to a fellow class mate, but every so often they are slumped over their desks in a semi-conscious state drooling on their text books. We all deal with it in the same way. We roll our eyes or laugh at their expense, wondering what they’re even doing in the class, and we get back to work.

Sometimes we get to see the professors themselves get involved, but it never helps. If anything it disrupts the class for those students who do care and simply gives the distracted students a few seconds of limelight before they go back to whatever had their attention prior to the disturbance.

Now there are situations where falling asleep in one’s class is understandable. Maybe you are working over 40 hours a week at your job while trying to maintain the minimum amount of units that would qualify you as a full time student. Perhaps you are a single parent and your child was up late the night before and you were unable to get any sleep, but you don’t have the option to stay home and sleep because the teacher grades with attendance in mind.

There are numerous reasons to justify dozing off in class, and oddly enough the majority of professors understand that. They were all students at one point in time as well, so why wouldn’t they sympathize with what some students go through on a day to day basis? The issue being addressed isn’t the hardworking students who doze off during lectures, it is the students who simply choose not to pay attention. The key word is choose.

Have you ever tried to keep your eyes open after working through the night on a term paper after working an eight hour shift? You can make the conscious decision to stay awake, to choose to do your course work, but your body will do what your body wants and you will doze off. It’s bound to happen.

Choosing not to be digging through social media during class is a much simpler task, as well as choosing not to whisper like a co-conspirator to the student next to you. If you cannot make it through a 50 minute class, then why are you there in the first place? Is it because your parents are forcing you to go to school? Maybe it’s because you think you want to be a college student, but you simply can’t wrap your mind around what is required and expected of you?

This is college and we are all adults here, for the most part, and as adults we are expected to know what we can and cannot handle. College is hard, and it requires dedication and had work to succeed. This isn’t high school. The days of teachers coddling you and holding your hand throughout the school year are long gone. You are here by choice, and you either make the most of the situation you are blessed to be in or move along and allow someone else to take advantage of the education you are choosing to ignore.

That’s the sad truth of it. For each student that sits idly by playing Flappy Bird, or some other mind numbing form of entertainment, in class there is a student who couldn’t take the class. Why? Because the bored student is taking up space.

Class sizes are limited in college, and while Skyline doesn’t suffer from this truth as badly as SFSU does at this point in time, there is still a cap on how many students a teacher is allowed to have in their class. Oftentimes some professors will bend the rules and add one or two more students to the roster, but most are turn away to find other classes to try and add before they are filled to capacity.

So, you see, the students who are sitting in the back of the class room bored out of their minds aren’t just wasting the time of the teacher, but they’re also cheating other students out of an education in a class that they actually wanted to take.

This is a call to action Skyline. We are in the real world now. We are adults, and one truth about adulthood is that you make your own decisions. If you don’t want to be a college student then don’t be one. If you’d rather be working full time or just lounging around your house in your pajamas then go for it, knock yourself out. No one here is going to stop you. If anything people will be relieved, because that is one more desk available for them in the classes you didn’t appreciate taking when you were forced to enroll by your parents.

Education is a brilliant gift, and just because you don’t appreciate it doesn’t mean that the person who is getting your old seat in those classes is going to make the same mistake that you did.