I experienced this problem throughout secondary school, I arrived at Post-16 and foolishly thought ‘right, you’ve all chosen to be here studying subjects you also got to pick, so everyone ought to care about their grades/education’. Nope, turns out there were still quite a worryingly large group of lazy sods who coasted all year doing the bare minimum so they didn’t get chucked off their course. And now at uni I feel like there’s something of the same issue but how on earth can other people just… not care about their education?
I should explain the background to this – I’ve just spent the past hour in excrutiating discomfort in a Spanish culture seminar in which about 1/4 of the class had completed the work for it. The point of being set work is so that your own studying/research is structured and productive as you can then note down any issues you may come across that need clarifying by an expert – i.e. the seminar tutor. All we had to do was watch a 2 hour film about Ernesto ‘el Che’ Guevara and answer a (to be honest) not-terribly-taxing set of questions about it. I’d say, at most, if you spent time reading a little about the context of ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ or Guevara himself, you’d spend 4 hours on it, really. And yet 75% of people in that seminar group just couldn’t manage to put aside 4 hours somewhere in the 2 weeks between seminars in order to complete the work. Seriously, I have to ask it again, how is it so easy for people to just not care about their work?!
It both infuriates and baffles me because I will never ever understand the mentality, I don’t understand how intelligent individuals, doing a course they chose to do don’t forget, can just say ‘ah sack it, I’ll just turn up having not prepared work for it’. I couldn’t ever allow myself to do that. Okay okay sure enough, I do procrastinate work (we all do, I think you lie if you say you don’t) but I still ensure that I’ve at least gained a basic understanding of the topic before I go to a seminar and if I hadn’t, I wouldn’t turn up anyway and expect to be able to just sit back and not volunteer an opinion because ‘I haven’t had chance to see the film’. That’s not an excuse, it’s your education, your studying, take responsibility for it and don’t act like it’s fine if you just couldn’t be arsed to do 4 hours of work in the 2 weeks you had.
I feel like my time has been wasted now by a completely inefficient seminar in which I learnt maybe 1 useful titbit of information (and that came from a girl who was well-read in Guevara and Latin America) and the rest was people saying ‘oh yeah sorry, haven’t actually watched the film so I shall be completely useless in this discussion’.