Luther College Chips

When did not caring about academics become cool?

Elizabeth Bonin, Managing Editor

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As students, we have always been taught to prioritize attentively listening in class, working on homework, and studying. At Luther, we literally pay $40,000 a year (without financial aid or scholarships) to learn in class, complete homework, and study. If we are paying this much for education, surely students must value education, right?

Yet for some reason, students who dedicate time to school work are often perceived as fools wasting time. I cannot count the number of times I said that I finished homework a day early or started making a study guide for an exam and received a response like “Wait, you actually studied?” or “You realize that’s not due till tomorrow, right?” and one time “You are a senior and you have only skipped two classes ever?”

Considering that I am taking the English seminar, working on my senior paper, competing in the middle of the swim and dive season, taking arguably the hardest communication studies class offered, working as the Managing Editor of Chips, and attempting to eat and sleep on a somewhat regular basis this semester, yes, I do actually need to work ahead to retain the small amount of sanity I have left. Somehow I managed to find the most time consuming organizations on campus.

Meanwhile, those who procrastinate will be pulling their hair out with shaky, over-caffeinated hands at midnight on a Saturday night while I have everything finished and can still make the occasional trip to Scoe’s because hey, I deserve it. And during the week, call me grandma if you want, but I actually enjoy going to bed before 10:30 on a weeknight, or even weekends if I can.

Skipping class? That is hardly ever an option in my book. Now I totally understand those who have a huge research paper the next day and feel that their time will be better spent working on that paper than class time. I get frustrated when those who skip class to sleep in or binge watch “Stranger Things” make fun of me for attending class.

If I am paying thousands of dollars to attend these classes during my four years at Luther, you know I will be making use of those thousands of dollars. I will also be reading those required books too, because I did not spend all that time perusing the internet for the cheapest site for nothing. So have fun sitting in bed while I actually get the education I paid for.

I understand that for some students the stars aligned perfectly when they were born, meaning if they do not study they still pull out an “A” on the final exam. But the stars did not align on February 14, 1996, meaning that I do study or else I will be dropping out and working as the manager of a strip club because apparently I am too short and shy to be a stripper (who knew?). If you are one of those lucky students, please refrain from making fun of those who actually need to study.

Working hard and managing time well are wonderful qualities to have and should never be a reason to scoff at someone. Go ahead and make fun of me for looking like a 12-year-old at age 21 or my unexplainable obsession with Harry Potter, but keep your comments about my study habits and organization to yourself.

Even though many students attend Luther for sports, music, student ministries, or other extracurricular activities, we are all here for a liberal arts education. So when did working towards that education become a waste of time? When did watching Netflix all day and then scrambling to finish assignments at 1 a.m. become the cool thing to do?

I value my education and the money I invest in it and refuse to feel bad for staying on top of my studies.

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