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College, Enthusiasm and Studies.

The professor is six minutes late

Professor is six minutes late.

 

Venu wrote a nice post presenting his hypothesis to explain the decline in enthusiasm with regards to studies among the undergrad students. 

It was a great read and a good topic to contemplate on. Go read his post to understand what exactly I’m responding to. 

The “pecking order” might be one of the factors. But I’m not entirely convinced. I think the “social proof” factor which he mentioned at the end of the post is a much more important factor. The definition of “cool” changes from year to year.

Take for example, the gamers in third and final years, the hierarchy was well known, still the enthu was never down. There were many surprise new entrants once in a while fighting their way up. Also, take for example, the enthu level in pre-graduation days. i.e, the primary, high school, etc., classes. The hierarchy is pretty much set and stagnant there. But the enthu isn’t exactly on a decline year on year.

I think most of the people who enter graduation know all too well not to accept their positions in the hierarchy as a given. So, I don’t think it’s got much to do with competition.

I think students don’t exactly know what is expected of them (percentage marks) when they enter first year. So they try to get roughly as much as in their pre-grad days. But with time, as they settle down, they come to accept that 70% is also an okay marks and everybody else is taken that much anyway, so theres nothing much to feel ashamed about. There just isn’t much pressure to perform. So, only the truly interested stick on, while others move on to finding their interests or just realize their lack of interest. Many of them aren’t in it by choice anyway. Most wanted to be done with it asap.

There always has been a big percentage gap between the toppers and the average junta…. even if they have accepted their place in the hierarchy, there should have been some attempts to close the gap. Theres also not much effort to differentiate in the crowded ranges, because an hierarchy just didn’t matter in that range.

There were many other factors too for decreasing interest in studies, like the quality of teachers, better knowledge of “what matters”, desire to have girl friends and be cool :D etc., 

What do you think? Why was YOUR enthu on a decline? :)
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4 Responses to “College, Enthusiasm and Studies.”

  1. Venu says:

    I think the “social proof” factor which he mentioned at the end of the post is a much more important factor.

    The trouble with social proof explanations is that they are circular, to an extent. They only tell you that there will be homogeneity in the behaviour of different people, but they won't tell you whether the behaviour will be X or Y.

    Take for example, the gamers in third and final years, the hierarchy was well known, still the enthu was never down. There were many surprise new entrants once in a while fighting their way up.

    Quakers were mostly playing CTFs, which are team rather than 1-on-1 events, and hence there isn't much loss of face here. (I think the situation was similar with AOE as well.) Plus, skill in gaming is inherently a matter of practice. Quake stays the same year after year, whereas the subjects in your curriculum change each semester. Hence, even if you aren't good today, if you practise a lot, you can get much better. Also, new entrants fighting their way up is never prohibited by the pecking order analogy – after all the new entrants, being new, don't know their relative ability against the others, right?

    the enthu level in pre-graduation days. i.e, the primary, high school, etc., classes. The hierarchy is pretty much set and stagnant there. But the enthu isn’t exactly on a decline year on year.

    Your parents monitor you much more closely when you are at school! But if a new kid comes into a school having been a topper in his previous school, he will try and top in the new school. I will claim in addition that if he fails to top a few times, he will put in lesser effort in studies and more effort in those status games where he has better chances. All of this is subject to the constraint of parent monitoring of course.

    Btw, I have seen this declining enthu phenomenon in my 11th and 12th when I was in a hostel (and the kids had far lesser parental monitoring).

    I think students don’t exactly know what is expected of them (percentage marks) when they enter first year. So they try to get roughly as much as in their pre-grad days.
    Say, in an alternative universe, the toppers in pre-college only score ~80% , but it is possible to score 95% once they get into university. Do you think the pre-college toppers would be satisfied with scoring just 80% once they get into university, instead of readjusting their goals to aim for 95% instead of 80%?

    But with time, as they settle down, they come to accept that 70% is also an okay marks and everybody else is taken that much anyway, so theres nothing much to feel ashamed about.

    But why do some readjust their sights downward to 70%, even though the toppers are still scoring 85%? You are taking the phenomenon you are supposed to explain for granted.

  2. Phoenix says:

    As far as I am concerned,
    - Congenital lack of interest in studies
    - Accidental pop up into education system
    - Plenty of other things to do (although i dun claim i do it all, most of the time is spent on thinking that I'll do it :P )
    - Not by choice
    - Quality of teachers, better knowledge of what i want, n all other factors
    - Inherent laziness
    - Supremacy over delaying thing aka Very very wrong attitude

    Monitoring of parents – umm, actually it was never there even though i've never been a hostelite. It was always like, do as much as u can and dun worry about result. (My parents were too naive to understand how i would take “as much as” as :P ) And also, I accidently got good result which further led them not to interfere with whteva way i adapt regarding studies.

    One important factor is, Exams. During schooling, it was like weekly tests, plust mid term tests, and plenty of more. Also tuition tests are yet to be counted. So it was like, they all created small timely pressure and one would study a bit in this exam a lil bit more in another one. So ultimately by the time finals approached, the course was atleast done. In college, it's like directly prelims or finals which includes the whole course, and there are no inbetween exams. also if professors, by chance, holds a test, students are too smart to postpone it first and later cancel it. So those small timely pressures are missing. And not all the students have capacity to finish up stuff “nicely” in a short time.

    You said, definition of cool changes – Well, not in medical. It's the same. One who gets gold medal, is smarter.

    But then students get tired of studyin. Youth is the time when a person gets exposure and access to other stuff which are very attractive and unavoidable. Also availability of unlimited options of entertainment leads to lack of time in enjoyin it, then studies get the least priority. Whereas during schooling and all, options were somewhat limited.

    I think psychological factor also must play some role in this. Cz this is the time when the person gets transformed from the virtual ideal life to the practical one. So his priorities, desires, responsibility – all these factors change. And accordingly, his behaviour.

    Well, gotta get back to studies :P sounds funny but yea i gotto. If i think of somethin else, i ll letu knnw. so far, this is gud.

    Take care.
    Tada.

  3. Phoenix says:

    Hey
    You've been tagged !!

    The rules of the tag are: Post 5 links to 5 of your previously written posts. The posts have to relate to the 5 key words given (family, friend, yourself, your love, anything you like). Tag 5 other friends to do this meme. Try to tag at least 2 new acquaintances (if not, your current blog buddies will do) so that you get to know them each a little bit better.

    Have fun !!!

  4. [...] Friends: umm, well nothing here. But I guess I can fit this by slightly bending the [...]

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