3 Deadly Sins of Students


It’s office cleaning time as the Fall semester is around the corner. I’m throwing out stuff I copied but haven’t really looked at for a while. In one stack of photocopies, I ran across an article in the Chronicle of Higher Education written by an anonymous prof entitled, “The 7 Deadly Sins of Students.”The subtitle makes his point, “Undergraduates increasingly seem to choose self-indulgence and self-esteem over self-denial and self-questioning.”

The copy isn’t great and so I can’t tell whether it was written in 2006 or 8 but it doesn’t matter, the points are still good. But here are just 3 that may relate to graduate student dangers:

1. Sloth. Putting of readings and thus getting less out of class time.

2. Greed. Pursuing degrees for what they can do for the student rather than for learning (the author is a liberal arts prof! Of course the author is for learning for learning sake!). The concern is that this motivation makes it all the more easy to excuse cheating and plagiarism.

3. Anger. The prof points out that more students challenge assignments and grades because they are consumer minded (I paid a lot for this so deserve a better grade).

I am reminded of a recent email that was sent out by a colleague. He linked to a news report of recent law school grads attacking their alma maters for not being able to get a job after graduation. Seems the students are having a difficult job securing employment after graduation and consider this a failure of their school to inform them of the difficulty they might experience. If this is true for law school, I suspect it is also true for seminaries too.

Are you considering graduate education? You may wish to think through your motives and especially ask about job opportunities. What does the market look like for graduates? What kinds of things do graduates do? Further, be sure to understand how long it takes to be able to practice your profession. In the counseling world, a grad needs thousands (3600 for LPCs in PA) of post-graduate supervised practice and pass an exam. Find out what life is like for those who are ahead of you. What secrets do they have to successfully completing their requirements?

So, watch your deadly sins this fall if you are starting school soon. Funny, I see this author published another essay entitled, “7 Deadly Sins of Professors.” For some reason I didn’t copy that one. Wonder why…

1 Comment

Filed under education, teaching counseling

One response to “3 Deadly Sins of Students

  1. D. Stevenson

    I laughed at your last two lines. Perhaps you were angry from some student sins happening under your nose!

    1. Funny how when I was an undergrad I was never late with reading. I usually had papers finished long before they were due. While everyone else was cramming and staying up late on finals week I was getting full nights sleep, taking walks and even reading a book for fun.

    2. Why people cheat in college has always puzzled me. Perhaps that is because I am a learner for learning’s sake. Even so, it isn’t pragmatic. If you cheat for your degree but don’t know what you are doing, you aren’t likely to succeed when/if you get a job in your field. — Although, perhaps the ones who cheat, don’t care if they don’t know what they are doing.

    3. I’ve been angry at my professor(s) when I paid good money for the class and they didn’t do their end of the deal, that is, teach well. The majority of the other 10- 15 people in my program have the same expectation of our professors.

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