by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
George Leef writes for the Martin Center about a book that offers new graduates good advice.
What is missing for students is sound advice on how to make the best use of their time in college to maximize their chances of future success. Students’ faculty advisors don’t usually want to have much contact with them; they have other priorities, and they get no rewards for good counsel nor do they suffer if they give bad counsel. (In fact, the only careers most faculty members know about is their own—academia.)
In an effort at filling this advice void, Victor Brown, a retired professor at Ursinus College and a Martin Center contributor, has penned a short book entitled Welcome to College: A Practical Guide to Academic and Professional Success.
First and foremost, Brown speaks to college students as responsible adults, a manner that many of them are not used to. Whether college will pay off for them or be a big waste of time and money is a matter that is under their control. He says,
“No matter what college you attend, you will have good and poor instructors, good and poor course content, good and poor social experiences. In my opinion, your future success will depend on you—not upon your choice of college or university.”
Brown is absolutely right. At almost every school, students can either choose to get a true college education, which calls for effort in finding out which professors truly want to teach them, or to merely coast through to graduation with the minimum of effort. The latter choice can lead to a great “experience,” but the former will pay long-term dividends.