The University of Florida.

(An essay drafted when I was a senior at UF. Most of the personal information doesn't apply anymore, but I still agree with the sentiment.)

Yeah, this is COLLEGE, innit? How scary that the mentality of my entire city is that of a high school sophomore. (Well, a typical one, anyway. Nothing against high school sophomores.) I suppose I should have known it would be something like this, seeing as how my school is known first for its partying, second for its athletics, and maybe third for its parking problems. Notice academics isn't mentioned. Not that it isn't a good enough school; I guess you can get a good education here. But some of the students' ideals and mentalities just drive me nuts.


The Frat Boys

If you are/were in a fraternity or a sorority, please don't take this as an insult, especially if your organization isn't typical of the stereotype. But I fail to see why the HELL they are so integrated into the culture of an institution of higher learning. They are social organizations. Not that that is all bad. But why are they a piece of the college? And why are there SO MANY Greeks at the University of Florida? It annoys me because I have not had good experiences with frat boys in the past. Those I've met seem to want nothing more than a good beer and a good lay, maybe some onion rings. What's even weirder is they look like they're the same three guys. Down to the backwards hat, stylish clothes, bro-ish facial expression, and annoying, sporty goatee. It freaks me out! These folks enjoy coming up to me in Denny's and asking me if I'm single, or attempting to "flirt" with me in crowded places. The thing about frats is that they remind me of high school. The little cliques that everyone groups into in order to achieve social status. (Only, at the University of Florida, you have to pay money to belong.) I guess I just don't like these kinds of groups having so much power at the university, and the fact that so many of their worst living stereotypes are so ubiquitous in the city.

Academics & Teachers

Our teachers cut us far too much slack here. No, I don't want to be overworked, and I like easy classes as much as the next person, but I can't help but feel a bit cheated. Teachers are always making excuses for us . . . letting us go early, taking days off, giving us extra points for coming when it's raining or if it's a Friday before a big game, babying us for our projects. . . . I've had classes in which spelling didn't count in a paper (excuse me???); where substandard work was accepted because it was the most common occurrence; where gigantic curves were awarded; where mastery was NOT the goal. I'm an education major and I've studied quite a bit of what good teaching is. I've come to believe some of it. I don't believe I'm being taught well when the teachers are so afraid of offending or upsetting the students that they accept a clearly wrong answer just because the student complains it was a confusing or misleading question. TOO BAD! I like the relaxed environment that allows me to put my feet on the desk or eat food in class, but I'd rather that "oh, whatever" attitude not extend to the important part of my education.

My Friggin' Classmates

"This is too hard." "Wait, say it again . . . ?" "What do you mean spelling counts?" "You said it once at the beginning of the year and never reminded me!" "I have to read the syllabus??" "But it's raining. I don't want to go to class." "Could we have an extension?" "What's the answer to #4?" "This is too many notes." "I didn't come yesterday because I have PMS." "This class is boring." "Why do we have to read the textbook?" "You're crazy, I'm not memorizing that."

There is no work ethic here. Just like high school, it seems people are going to college because they "have to." Don't they remember that they are paying a LARGE amount of money to take these classes? They do the least possible amount of work necessary to satisfy the assignments' requirements; they don't bother to get interested. And they complain about *every little thing*. It is revolting. I am now a senior in college and it is so friggin' sad that some of my actual classmates, who are the same age as I am, still act like they are in high school. I mean, in college you even get to choose your field of study. You pick something you're interested in! And then you pay your tuition so you can come to class and read the newspaper? You claim the class is "boring" but you still fail the tests? You blame your own incompetence on unfair teachers? It is so unbelievably sad.

And ya know what else? Another thing about this place that reminds me of high school is that people here think you're a dork if you do well in your classes! When people find out I got an A in a class that wasn't a so-called "easy-A" class where "she passes everyone if you show up," I am given weird looks or told I am a geek. I'm serious! People have actually made *fun* of me for doing well in school! I would have thought that if you're *paying* to come to school you should value doing well, don't you think? So why is it that these people pay LOTS of money to come to college and then do the minimum, and chastise me for learning the material? HELLO!!! I suppose that if I do well it means I was home on a Saturday night studying instead of "partying like I should be." Well, last time I checked I wasn't going into debt to finish college, either . . . partly thanks to the fact that I kept my grades up and therefore kept my scholarship. ::smugly gloating::

As an aside, I'm thoroughly scared now after realizing that my classmates are future teachers and half of them cannot spell. Now I know why. Their teachers couldn't spell either and they were allowed to graduate. They don't know their homophones!!! They don't know the difference between "site" and "sight"! In my opinion, teaching is one of the hardest and most challenging jobs a person can do. How are these people going to be teachers? They don't even do a good job on their own homework. How much you wanna bet that they want to be teachers because they want the summers off?

Any comments left here are PUBLIC. If you are not comfortable with that, mail me directly.

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Comments from others:

ari: Two things:

1) "college is just iike high school" I gather you were a Senior when you wrote that; it took you HOW long to figure that out? If I didn't see many obvious signs of a high IQ elsewhere among your pages, I'd question your self-assessment on this basis.

2) "How are these people going to be teachers" In most parts of life, you get what you pay for. Teachers, in most places, are not highly paid -- and it shows. We, as a society, do not really value learning, intelligence, etc -- and we thus reap what we sow. The future belongs to the Chinese, Russians, Indians, etc. The effects are not just limited to teaching / schooling etc. Just look at whom we've elected -- and whom we haven't -- to the highest offices in the land.

swankivy: No idea why this person thinks I "took a long time to figure this out" just because I bitched about it when I was a senior. And I'm well aware that this society doesn't reward teachers, so it's unlikely to attract the best of the best. I'm not (and was not) misunderstanding this. I'M ANGRY ABOUT IT. Really don't understand the condescension in this comment.

Mikey: I think that you are right in all that you said here in this piece and it has been a long while since I have been in college but yes it is much like high school.

Sarah: Well, there are three things I've noticed that separate college from high school:
-colleges can't enforce a dress code on people who dress like little sluts.
-a cell phone going off/being used in class can't be confiscated
-students are more likely to be sarcastic butt-munches to their professors (especially if the said professor is a great teacher and doesn't give out free grades/curves) since it's harder to discipline them.
Other than that, college is extremely close to being like high school. If I'm wrong about the differences, then the college I attend must be lenient.

Roxie: Right on the money! Were we twins in a past life?

Myranda: Ivy, dear Ivy... Just when I think your rants can't possibly be more entertaining and witty, you exceed my expectations yet again. KUDOS! You're a witty chick, and I just love your perfect blend of Laissez-faire and Fire-in-the-belly. You're exactly right in your assessment of college life vs. high school. I'm PROUD of you for doing well! Keep up the good work, and keep us laughing! Thanks for being such a cool person both on your page and off.

MUCH Love,

kellicat: Wow, this makes me glad that I don't live on campus and that I'm choosing to major in classical studies. Since I don't live on campus, I can ignore the frat boys and all the other parts of the student culture that I don't like. By majoring in classical studies, I've put myself with other fellow "geeks" who do want to do well in their classes and don't mock people for being "too smart". The teachers help us, but don't baby us. Spelling counts.

Also, my university is known for its high academic standard and it's not easy to get in so that filters out a lot of buttmunches. The teachers don't tolerate them either. If you can't do the work and have no reason why you can't do it, you fail.

Reading this rant has helped me to appreciate my university more so thanks for writing it.

swankivy: Note: I didn't live on campus either, and still wasn't able to avoid the buttmunches. I was appalled to learn that education majors would mock each other for doing well in school if they were studying to be teachers and would be spending their whole lives in school. I probably should have gone to a different university, but since I didn't use my degree anyway, I guess it doesn't matter. . . .

Carrie: Well, that's what you get with bigger school... I got to a smaller campus around 12k, and I'm in a sorority. However, greeks make up only about 12% on our campus. I can't stand going out to the clubs b/c I don't drink. However, most of the greeks are very involve with their studies. Overall the greek community gpa standard is that you achieve a 2.0. However, frats and sorors set up higher gpa like with ours, 2.5. Even if you have a 2.5, you are required to log more study hrs than the sisters with 3.0 and up. Our professors def don't let us off easy. I don't think we've ever gotten any of the perks you spoke of unless it as a tropical storm or a heavy snow, which neither happens more than twice a semester. In fact, this semester, it seems the most difficult with three group project in just four classes! These aren't just small projects, these are the ones that last all semester! I chose not to go to a larger school just for the fact that you get more of a serious atmosphere at a smaller college. As a remark to one of the other comments, they may not be allowed to take cell phones, but they are allowed to kick you out off class, in some cases for the rest of the semester. I think it is very disrespectful how students act during class time. The prof is trying to teach and other students are trying to get their money's worth and earn their degree... I am ready to graduate, just to get away from all the disrespectful students...

Synesthesia: Oddly enough I continue to miss college to the point of having dreams about it and dreaming about being in my ex home thinking when can I leave this place of being lectured and go back to COLLEGE.
Yet, to a certain extent (sp), my school was really like that.
Fraternities and sororities that would get drunk, have wild parties and destroy stuff constantly.
Folks who partied every single day of the week and came home in droves from the local bar.
The irritating kid who lived in my theme cottage one year who would party until 3 even on weekdays.
While I hid in a computer lab on the third floor most weekends.
College was a great place to meet friends though. Most of my teachers were not easy graders and more folks whined about work in my high school, but oh, the frats and sororities. Urg. Many of which were loud people who looked way too alike.

Korra: Haha, I'll be a Freshman in college next year..., college isn't any better than HS? :( Damn. LOL.