June 16, 2024

In less than 100 days, I will finally be completing my college education. While I am overjoyed, I am less than enthused knowing that soon enough, I will have to start paying back my student loans.

Education is expensive, no matter which way you look at it. When you are younger, the bills of extracurriculars such as show choir or athletics begin to pile up, but when you hit college, it is almost as if the train that was looming in the distance for so long has finally caught up and rolled over you.

My parents always drilled the idea of a “money-conscience” mindset into me, even when I was young and didn’t even understand the concept of a credit card.

Money is not something to be taken lightly, which means when I got to college, the idea of wasting my education by not taking it seriously was not an option. I am almost positive the last words my mother said to me before she and my dad packed up my car and shipped me off to college were, “If you get anything less than an A, I’ll
kill you.”

Now, of course, this is paraphrasing because my mother loves me and the feelings are mutual. Both my parents would have just been sorely disappointed had I used the thousands of dollars they spent on me — and borrowed from the government — to pursue the “full college experience” so many young adults chase after when they leave their parents’ homes for the first time, which more often than not, means focusing more on the social aspect of school rather than the academic.

Here’s the bottom line. Some people get A’s. Academics just come naturally to them, just like how some people are more inclined toward athleticism. Some people get B’s. Some people get C’s. Some people struggle more to keep up their grades. That is absolutely OK.

What is not OK is when students don’t even try. My least favorite phrase is “C’s get degrees.” Yeah, they do, and sometimes C’s are students’ best efforts. But more often than not, “C’s get degrees” is the go-to phrase for students who simply don’t care and therefore
don’t try.

So here is a PSA: For the student who is paying his or her way through college, if you aren’t trying (unlikely, because many of those students know what is at stake), that is your prerogative. For the student who is riding through college via Mom and Dad’s wallet, you are being disrespectful, irresponsible and downright lazy.

C’s get degrees. Of course they do. If that is your best, I applaud you. But if you are using it as an excuse for poor academic performance due to apathy or a desire to “live it up in college,” you need to rethink your priorities and consider who your actions are affecting. It’s not just you who pays the price of a poor grade when it’s all said
and done.

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