5 Gripes College Students Have

This article was originally published on The Chegg Blog; read the original feature.

More than once I’ve heard undergrad referred to as the best four years of one’s life. That liberating feeling a student has leaving his parents’ nest is rivaled by very few events. For the first time, you have the freedom to structure your daily activities in a way that revolves around you.

While all of this newly established independence sends waves of excitement down to your fingertips, there are some not-so-great aspects of college students deal with on a daily basis. Here are a few shared gripes I can recall from my years as an undergrad.

1). Grade Curves

My qualm with curving final grades to meet a predetermined average GPA is this: students who perform better than average run the risk of having their grades lowered to accommodate the curve. One academic school at a university strived to maintain a 3.0 average amongst its students. This meant if the average GPA was 2.8, some students would have their grades raised until the average was a 3.0. Sounds great, right? The flipside, however, was awful.

If the average GPA was 3.2, some students on the +/- cusp saw their grades lowered to meet the 3.0. Instead of adjusting the curve (or not doing it for that semester), students were penalized. Now you can see why this was gripe numero uno.

2). Fire Alarms at 4am

There comes a time in every undergrads life when they must trek outside at ungodly hours of the morning in the midst of winter all because some freshman had the hilariously authentic idea to pull a fire alarm. Not only is it illegal, but it can get you a world of embarrassment. I’ve personally witnessed an alarm-puller chased and tackled by a well-placed RA. Oh sweet, sweet justice.

3). Non-existent Lunch Breaks

It’s sad when Andy Sachs’ 15-minute lunch break is considered a luxury but that’s what many students are faced with. Nearly 80% of undergraduates work while enrolled in school, with the average spending about 30 hours per week at part-time or full-time employment. In order to sustain a stable work schedule classes are often blocked together over only a couple of days during the week.

Only being able to leave 10 – 15 minutes between four classes a day leaves very no time to recharge midday, often resulting in key meals being skipped. If your professors enforce strict no-eating in class policies like mine did, you have no choice but to limit yourself to 1 – 2 meals per day, with the possibility of a snack as you’re rushing to your next class. Our eating habits are often the product of our environment, not that we’re simply unhealthy.

4). Rude Launderers

Look, laundry is a time-consuming chore that we all dread doing but want done immediately. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could all mutually agree that it’s awful and bond over the hate for it? That’s never the case… Instead you have people who comfortably hide behind the veil of anonymity, prematurely removing clothes from the washers, stopping drying cycles, or placing others’ clean clothes on the floor. Just watch it or you may have to thaw your clothes out like this unfortunate person.

5). Still Being Viewed as a “Kid”

I’m not sure when the transition from child to adult is complete, but many of us take on “adult responsibilities,” make “grown-up decisions,” and have formulated “mature opinions” on life topics. Now, in my mind, that would label the bulk of college students as adults. But, for some reason adults were slow to catch onto this.

I noticed this frequently happened with professors who often opened the floor up for debate. Each time their opinion was challenged they consistently fell back on the years of exposure they’ve had to the topic. While that’s great, the amount of idea exchange that occurs in the 21st century is significantly greater than it was 10, 20, or 50 years ago, making the numbers game more irrelevant. Let’s hope the “adults” catch wind of that pronto.

What’s your number one gripe about college life? Be sure to tell us in the comments.

written by
Sean Castillo
February 23, 2012

13 Responses to “5 Gripes College Students Have”

  1. Denani
    February 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm #

    My biggest issue is trying to find a temporary job that will work with my schedule!!! I Really need the money, but all the jobs on campus are taken, and there is no place that I have been able to find around town that is willing to hire someone for just a couple months…

  2. Kristen
    February 23, 2012 at 4:10 pm #

    All of these are true! The laundry thing annoys me like none other.

  3. Thalia
    February 23, 2012 at 10:37 pm #

    The driving. I hate it. I’d rather be chauffeured by my parents – people always comment on how bad Texas drives.
    I gripe about the griping (awesome paradox) people constantly make about schoolwork, when personally I love lectures and love reading my History book. Why wouldn’t I want to maximize my time in class by asking questions if I paid for it? Also the silly book reports on boring topics, like a past “nobody” President or Populism.

  4. Jennifer
    February 24, 2012 at 6:41 am #

    Teachers who don’t know about technology. I’ve had several teachers who don’t post grades, use the online system that my schools uses-which was pounded in our heads freshman year that we HAVE to learn how to use it because our teachers will but they don’t, or much less how to use PowerPoint. Then, they always seem to complain about “back in their day” and try to blame us for being to technological advanced. It always drives me crazy because I’m NOT the one who invented the smart phone or Facebook, so don’t blame it on me. That’s like them telling me I can’t use a cup to drink my water because it’s too far advanced, but if they would just take a few hours to learn to use it themselves, they could shut up!

    • Austin
      February 24, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

      @Jennifer: haha, well… that’s why you should go to MIT where the teachers know wayyyy more than you do about technology!

      • HRG
        February 24, 2012 at 7:07 pm #

        @Austin: I wish i could go to MIT I’m stuck at IIT.

      • JC
        February 25, 2012 at 1:13 pm #

        @Austin: Ah, but not true! As an undergrad at MIT, and now grad at RPI, you would be suprised how many Professors can’t find the right end of a TV remote, never mind figure out BlackBoard/WebCT/etc. Be they Nobel Prize winning physicists or genius programmers, sometimes they’re still back in the stone age. Granted, Blackboard/WebCT/LMS and other such programs are miserable to use since they are so buggy, so I can’t blame them…

  5. greg
    February 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #

    Parking , had did that not make the list . With there tickets or two hours driving around in circles its stupid .

  6. JGreen
    February 24, 2012 at 7:36 pm #

    Luckily my dorm comes with a washer and dryer so I don’t have to deal with the laundry thing my peeve is the first year experience classes that we’re forced to take that has nothing to do with our majors and teachers switching textbooks at the drop of a dime or worse not even using them at all after you already paid over 200 bucks for it.

  7. Stephanie
    February 24, 2012 at 10:35 pm #

    At my college the greatest complaint is rising tuition while classes continue to be cut and it takes forever to graduate. And when University Presidents make more than the President of the United States. That is unacceptable. If you can get a scholarship to a private school, do it, because you don’t even know what a mess the public higher education system is these days.

  8. Lillianna
    February 27, 2012 at 6:32 pm #

    All these things make me even more glad that I’m going to my college. My college’s solutions to the aforementioned:

    ~strictly 4-year(no more, no less)
    ~less that 130 students
    ~2 washers and 2 dryers in each dorm building(everyone is courteous, too)
    ~16 students per dorm building
    ~work-study program that everyone may participate in
    ~scheduled meals
    ~extremely low tuition(which includes room and board, books and everything)
    ~no grading on a curve
    ~free parking
    ~no online grade postings

  9. Michele
    February 29, 2012 at 8:06 am #

    My biggest pet peeve about college is the number of students, in highly and most competitive colleges, who do not use proper punctuation, and do not know the difference between their, there, and they’re.

  10. Sarah
    April 11, 2012 at 4:46 pm #

    The inability to get scholarships. I’ve maintained a 3.75 gpa while in school full time AND working full time, and I’m an honors college student. But all the time I spend studying and working doesn’t leave any time for volunteer work, which is what most scholarships require. And since I can’t get any scholarships to pay for college, I have to keep working full time. It’s a pretty stupid Catch-22.

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