Two professors from the University of Washington are teaching a class that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, should have to take during their college career. The course is aptly named Calling Bullshit in the Age of Big Data. Yes, it is an actual course offered for one credit. They have published the syllabus and the reading material used in the course so that students at other universities can take advantage of the opportunity.
You know the drill. You’re sitting in class when the professor explains the next dreadful group project. Instead of letting you choose your group, meaning your friends or the smart fucker in class, he demands you count off by numbers, randomly assigning you to your new clusterfuck.
Now it’s awkward
You find yourself in a 4 week long polygamist marriage with 5 strangers.
There’s always one who isn’t a complete stranger though. You’ve had classes together for years but now you have to awkwardly ask them their name because you didn’t care to remember it in the past.
You get stuck with that overly outgoing guy in class that you want to punch in the dick already, and now you have to listen to his bullshit in your spare time. There’s a reason none of you are friends, and its painfully uncomfortable putting on a half assed smile as you introduce yourself.
You get to exchange phone numbers and emails, 35 useless digits that take up space in your phone. Leading to the group text message that inches you closer to homicide every time someone suggests meeting up to collaborate.
For the uneducated who don’t know what this means, group think is a decision making process that discourages creativity or individual responsibility. For example, when overly confident Carol chimes in and nobody has the balls to refute her, her idea stands, whether or not her idea is worth the ingrown hair on my left nut. Or perhaps the hot dumb girl is in your group. She presents a stupid ass idea, and because you want to treat her like your big toe and bang her on every piece of furniture in your house, you smile and agree with her senseless suggestion.
Everyone has shit they’d rather do instead. When you’ve got a few weeks to finalize your presentation, might as well put it on the back burner. This is college, you procrastinate. We let it marinate in a shit stew until the night before. Then, when it’s time to rise to the occasion, like the drunken students we are, we word vomit all over our professor’s lap and hope for a pitiful C.
You’re busy with other classes, assignments, exams, and your job. Five students will rarely have overlapping free time. You have a personal life and don’t want to spend your precious free time working on a project you don’t give a damn about with people you don’t like.
There’s never an equal distribution of the work load. There’s the group leader and one person who isn’t retarded that they can bounce ideas off of. Other than these two, everyone else is useless. The excruciating part is everyone is going to receive the same grade, even though two never showed up to a meeting. Tom was too hungover and Susan was on her knees getting her A- for another class. Still, the workhorse and the worthless turd get the same grade. Too bad it’s not like survivor where you can vote off the village idiot.
Unfortunately group projects are abundant in college courses. Professors see the importance of teamwork and use these agonizing assignments in an attempt to improve our cooperation skills. Group projects are inevitable. Each a nightmare in its own. When given a group project, don’t be one of the douchers mentioned earlier.
Everyone approaches college differently. Some people come to college for the social aspect, others for the academic enrichment, some for the life experience, and then there’s always a few folks who have no idea what they’re doing. Regardless of which category you fall into, there are plenty of decisions that must be made in order to shape your college experience.
What is success?
I’ve noticed a pretty common theme over the course of my time at the University of Montana. There’s a constant stigma surrounding what success is as a college student. How many meetings you have a week, how many clubs you’re in, how many credits you’re taking, if you have an internship, blah blah blahhh, the list goes on forever! Basically, it’s a competition to see how busy everyone else is and you’re the winner if you get the least amount of sleep. And let me tell you, that’s not a fun game to be playing! The reality is though, if you want to get the most out of your college experience, there’s not a whole lot of time to block in for things like eating and sleeping, let alone time to yourself, especially for those students that want that 4.0 GPA.
Does GPA really matter?
Basically, you have to make sacrifices in one area or another unless you want to be in school for 10 years, so it’s important to focus in on what matters. I’ve decided that through my experiences over the past two and a half years in school, GPA is most definitely not everything. I’ve had multiple internships and jobs throughout my college career in order to gain hands-on experience and gain on-the-job skills, and to be honest, my employers couldn’t care less about my GPA. And it’s not like my GPA is bad, or even below average, but it’s definitely not perfect!
When discussing GPA with business professionals and company owners, their responses have been shockingly consistent across the board: if you passed your classes and learned from them, GPA really doesn’t pull as much weight as one might think. Shocking, I know. To most employers your personality, interview and overall experience is what gets you a job, not a high GPA. A high grade point average is definitely a bonus and if you have it, you should flaunt it, but it’s not the end of the world if you can’t maintain an A average all 4 years.
Focus on real life experiences.
Personally, I’ve chosen to use my time in college to involve myself in activities that will help me grow as a person and become a more well-rounded individual. Not only do these extracurricular activities look great on a resume, but more than anything, the experiences I’ve gained through my involvement will help me in an interview and with on-the-job situations.
I feel as though I’ve learned more through my membership and leadership roles in organizations such as student senate, my sorority, marketing clubs, internships, and many others, than I possibly could have learned by solely sitting in a classroom. I can’t emphasize enough how beneficial these outside activities have been on both a personal and professional level. In order to take advantage of these leadership and developmental opportunities it is impossible for me to achieve a 4.0 while maintaining membership in these clubs and working two jobs. This is the sacrifice I’ve chosen to make. For those of you that can manage such a feat, more power to you! But personally, I feel that I’ve gained so much more by choosing to participate in as much as possible than I ever would have choosing to spend that time reading a text book.
This tactic definitely doesn’t work for every major or every job field, but if you think about it, a 4.0 only goes so far if you can’t communicate with people or understand how to effectively problem solve.
Find your passion and do what makes you happy.
The point is, do what you’re passionate about. College is a time to explore and figure out what matters to you on a personal level. Don’t waste this opportunity by not going to class, but on the flip side, don’t waste it by choosing to study 24 hours a day either. Join clubs, find a fun job, hang out with new people, and just involve yourself. You get out of college what you choose to put into it, so take advantage of the opportunities presented to you.
Have fun and think about the things that truly benefit your future and make you happy.
I’d love to hear your feedback and opinions on the subject of GPA and extracurriculars. Comment below and share some stories about your college experience!
Thousands of fans pack Washington-Grizzly Stadium on Saturday’s for game day. The stadium, which is known for it’s noise has received accolades from players, coaches, and ESPN announcers. Dallas Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo told ESPN that Washington-Grizzly Stadium was the loudest environment he had ever played in. So, what does it feel like to play for the Griz and run out of the tunnel into one of the best atmospheres college football has to offer? Watch this 360° video to find out!
Have a VR headset? Use it to feel like you are running out with the team!
*Watch on a desktop or the YouTube App for the 360° effect!
It is no secret that the majority of the University of Montana student body is made up of Montana born and raised students (we’re talking 74% in-state). It is also no secret that there are “Keep California Out!” signs on everyone’s lawn (not really).
“Oh where are you from?” – Seemingly interested older Montanan
“Sacramento, California!” – Me
“…I’m sorry…” – Now uninterested and bitter older Montanan
“I’m not 🙂 Thanks for having me!” – Smiling me
Take a minute to listen up. I may not speak on behalf of the rest of the Californians in Montana, but I have a perspective I’d love to share. The second I stepped on University of Montana’s campus I knew that it could be my home away from home. The city of Missoula, hell the state of Montana, felt like hugging someone that you haven’t seen in years. I’ve been here for 4 very short years and no, I don’t plan on staying, but yes I will be back to visit. The reason being that it offered the experience of a lifetime for this particular time in my life.
For anyone who’s interested, University of Montana allowed me to step away from most everything I knew in Sacramento (yes I had seen snow, every year in Tahoe minus the recent winters). I was able to clearly establish my values as a young adult, assess the type of future I wanted, and walk away with some of the best friendships I will have for a lifetime.
You see, us Northern Californians appreciate tall trees, snowcapped mountains, cleaning our campsites and wandering to find that adventure just doesn’t end. I can single-handedly agree that California has some extreme undesirables. But so does Montana (hello Meth Capital), so does Colorado, so does New York, and Wyoming and every other state you can name. How do you think Arizona feels hosting all the frail Montana old-timers looking for warm retirement? Probably a mix of “stay in your own state” and “please contribute to our economy; look we have handicap approved EVERYTHING!”
I’ll leave on this note. The amount of times that people think that I’m a Montanan prior to asking is remarkable. Let’s just say I’ve had to convince just about everyone I meet with a valid California drivers license. My experience with those who are excited to have me is what makes Montana “the last best place”. The nay-sayers couldn’t keep me out if they tried.
By: Lia Sbisa, proud Sacramento Native and Montana Visitor