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Students should balance class, activities

On January 17, 2011

College should be a learning experience.

Balancing class, sports, activities and having a social life should be a bit challenging at first. You should feel the stress and the pressure. It's normal, it helps drive the things you love doing.

But how you rank these things could determine your whole college experience. Put one before the other (and potentially) you could run into a problem.

Ottawa University lost 27 students from last semester because of their academic performance. While a majority of them were freshman, there were juniors and sophomores - people with college experience who should have known when they needed help and how to get it.

This isn't necessarily an issue of someone lacking intelligence. Maybe they lack the drive, determination and willpower that upper level classes bring to students.

In the case of freshman who were dismissed, they often are coming out of high school without a strong understanding of the differences in requirements.

College requires much more self-direction and self-motivation than high school. When people aren't prepared for this, they are going to suffer in college.

In the case of older students there may be any number of factors.

The issue of ‘senioritis' where someone is just flat out tired of school, still causes people to procrastinate into their later college experience.

Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances. It can be getting sick that semester or being a nontraditional student with kids, spouses and full-time jobs off-campus.

Sometimes priorities get mixed up, and we put more time into sports and activities or our friends than into classes.

That's where the balance is most important, where the things we want to do overshadow the things we have to do.

It's important to remember that we're paying a lot of money to come to school at OU, and we're here for an education and a degree.

There are things that further education and not the diploma, like being involved in clubs.

There are things that further the degree but not necessarily education, like taking required classes that we feel may be pointless.

We just need to balance it all.

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