Saturday, March 9, 2013

Mama A Says: College is practice for life.

Hello my little darlings!

Mama A is back from a long and extended break--slightly larger than life these days--and feeling rather delighted that it's Saturday morning.  I hope you all have been getting along rather well in my absence and have noticed that it's almost spring time.  Hallelujer to the Lord most high that before long we will be experiencing warmer temperatures and less restrictive (but let's be modest) clothing and eating outside.

You college chickadees may also have noticed this elusive creature we call "spring break" on the horizon--often accompanied by my other favorite friend "midterm week" in the college scene.  We all know that it's coming because our young friends begin posting things like, "4 tests separate me and freedom!" and "I cannot believe that this time next week I'll be in sunny Florida!" and "been up all nite studying for blahblah class" (please, please college students, learn to spell and capitalize.  Let the squiggly red and green lines set you free!)

I must admit that I often wish that all I had to do in life was take a few midterms.  Honestly, I sometimes would trade places in a MINUTE to only have to maybe study for a test or four and write a paper or two to have an opportunity to wear comfortable clothes and have a whole week off of work and getting to celebrate with friends after working SO HARD for a whole hour on that midterm exam.  I would love to not have to worry about bills and groceries and laundry and insurance and children's homework and life for just a few delicious minutes.

Let's be honest.  Most of you sweet college students occupy 400 square feet in your dorm rooms.  Your parents (donors, scholarships, and/or loans) are paying for your education.  You have money to eat out  and you might have to worry about gas money and maybe keeping your cell phone turned on.  You probably have a car that runs.  There is a cafeteria that feeds you most days, and you have the opportunity to sleep in a bed (whether you choose to stay up late or go to bed early is your own choice).  You are responsible for one person's laundry and you probably don't even scrub toilets.

Your primary job is to learn about your future employment and to turn assignments in on time.  

That's it.   

Now friends, I remember the good ol' dinosaur days when Mama A was in school.  It was traumatic to have so much responsibility on my shoulders and no one was there to remind me of this and that and the other things that were due.  I did my fair share of whining and woe-is-meeeee's.  My friends always made fun of my planner, my Sharpies, and my excessive color-coded scheduling.  I often had too much on my plate--19+ credit hours, multiple hours each day of individual practice and group rehearsals for multiple ensembles, campus organization commitments, church commitments, and several part time jobs.  And I had friends and relationships and trips and fun in there as well--I was living the dream.  

While my professors were (and still are) some of the smartest people I knew, they didn't offer much slack when it came to assignments being due.  You had better be on time to their classes and ready when they called on you to perform.  They didn't care if you had 14 gigs the week before other classes and a job and a relationship and were rushing a Greek organization.  They expected you to figure out a way to get it all done--because college is practice for life.  It's supposed to provide you with opportunities to become overwhelmed by deadlines and figure out how to survive on limited sleep and sometimes ridiculous expectations.  

So, when Mama A reads things like "haha overslept and missed my midterm.  oops  :D" and "i cannot believe that @*$#&@ prof gave me a 45 on a project i stayed up all night working on" or "I turned in that paper wwwwwaaaaayyyyy late lol" it BURNS. ME. UP. 

Because one day, your lazy tails are going to be caring for me in an assisted living center or counting my money at the bank or working at my church or teaching my kids or some other really important job and you're going to be lol-ing your way through it all.  

Your attitudes are pitiful, your work-ethic is terrible, and it is time for you to open your eyes and recognize that you are not the center of the universe (and we don't care what your mommy told you).  It's time for you to shed the baby factor and take ownership of the opportunities you have been given.  You are one of the lucky few that are enrolled in college courses.  Do you know how many people would love to be able to take courses to improve their lives?  Do you know how many single parents want to sit in those classes and earn degrees to be able to better provide for their families?  Do you know that people are giving their hard-earned money so that you can have an education and you are squandering it all?  

If I was a Rich Old Mama A paying for your college education, I'd beat you with my diamond encrusted cane!

I get sometimes things happen.  I understand that often you have to make choices between assignments and responsibilities and that some things are going to take precedence over others.  I 100% get that.  There were times as an undergraduate I chose to make a B (or even an occasional C) in an elective class in order to provide more time to prepare for my major courses (and not because I was out partying like a rock star).  And when you're a grown up, sometimes you're going to have to do the same thing--like choosing family over work once in a while.  It happens, and we can accept it.  But when it is a repeated behavior, or we all know that you aren't the most reliable person, we sit up and take notice.  

And you folks are fairly predictable in your behaviors:

1.  You ask for extra credit, but have failed to turn in a majority of your assignments. 
2.  You call the professors bad names behind their backs (or on social media) but kiss their tails in class.
3.  You are always angry that you have been mistreated. 
4.  You laugh and make loud dramatic noises when papers are returned to you with the blood of a red pen all over them. 
5.  You ball up your assignment and throw it in the trash on the way out the door. And stomp down the hall.  And dramatically find a group of friends to loudly share your woes with. 
6.  You commiserate with other people like you and form a club of whiney tails.  You should black your eyes while you're at it.  
7.  You are quick to complain to the powers that be in an effort to get your way. 
8.  You unleash your anger on class surveys, but never once darken the professor's door with your concerns.  
9.  You give little regard to deadlines and expect the professor to accept your assignments way past their due dates.  And expect to get a decent grade on the assignment, too. 
10.  You have poor personal hygiene, you have constant relationship issues, you're always getting fired, you are always sick, you always have car troubles, you never have ink or paper or Word, the network is always down, you never come to class, you always oversleep because your cell phone didn't wake you, and you always have a major personal crisis--and yet it's somehow the professor's fault.  

Little precious people, it's time to accept some responsibility for your life.  We no longer have time to hold your hands and stroke your hair and whisper words of false encouragement to your floods of tears that occur on an hourly basis.  

We want to shake some sense into you and send you on your way.  

You somehow got into the doors of that college or university.  That means that someone saw at least a glimmer of hope and potential in you and gave you a chance to do something with your life.  

Don't make them regret their decision.  


With something to think about, this is Mama A.  
Make it a great day. . . or not, the choice is yours.  

Our official Saturday morning time is 9:18am.  
Everyone have a great weekend!

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