PROBLEMS AND DISCOVERIES


The college student’s lifestyle is much more stressful for the following reasons:


Many of today’s colleges have quotas and higher standards of admission in accepting new students, thus making entering a college or university more competitive.


Once students are in college, they find themselves in an academic setting where they are not only acquiring new friendships but also dealing with the fact that their peers are also their competitors. In the arts, this is even more evident.


Financing a four for five year program for students today is much more complicated. Scholarships, loans, family financing and part time work are all topics that have to be dealt with by the college student. Many times it becomes the biggest frustration for students to deal with during their college years.


In many instances students are confronted with the problem of additional graduate work or advanced training due to a competitive job market. Admittance into graduate programs or acquiring apprenticeship programs is often difficult and adds to the financial stress already established during those undergraduate years.


Students who attend a college or university are usually experiencing their first major separation from parents. They find that college is a time for experimentation beyond the academic setting. Sexual identity, drugs and alcohol are all-important topics that students are confronted with on the college level. Although college sororities and fraternities are often important social outlets for many college students, these organizations also provide an environment for the topics just mentioned.


One of the biggest problems for a college students adjustment to college life is his lack family support, guidance and values. Social and time management skills are often lacking. This generation of college students that we are now dealing with, which we still often call the latch key generation, come from parents who are often both working. In some instances students come from a single-family situation due to divorce or birth out of wedlock. On a more serious side some students are victims of abusive families.


Each year in my larger lecture classes, I take a poll on how many students eat dinner with their family on a regular basis. In the past five years it always turns out that 90% of them do not. I was very fortunate in having parents who made dinner a very important time to be together to discuss and solve problems that occurred during the day. My father came from a strong Danish family background, which I have had the opportunity to understand and experience on frequent visits to Denmark.


In my observations in other cultures, I find a stronger family values is more prevalent in Europe, Russia and Asia as a result of years of family tradition.


RESOLUTION


In analyzing these problems of the youth of today, my strongest recommendation is to promote programs that help families provide stronger moral codes and values. A loving and supporting family is the foundation of success but often times parents need some guidance as well. Having the parents take more of an active roll in their child’s life during the college years is just as important as those informative years. One of the biggest fears parents face today in the United States is the senseless killing in the schools by children with guns. It has happened in Colorado at the high school level and more recently on the elementary school level as well.


The US Constitution provides many rights and freedoms to us. Unfortunately many Americans have misused these rights. There never seems to be a time where we aren’t hearing American cries on the rights of speech or the rights to bear arms. We as Americans often fail to acknowledge the other unwritten “R” which is responsibility for our actions.


As an active member of the Episcopalian Church in Valdosta, I have noticed how important the church has become in reuniting the family and establishing morals through religious doctrine. Organized religion has also shown me what a tremendous help it can be for those in need.


Churches in my community provide help and heavily support programs such as those for abused woman, meals for shut-ins (elderly and the handicapped), soup kitchens for the homeless, summer programs for children, church groups for college students, programs for alcoholics (AA) and one of the most amazing programs to date