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Complaints deprive collegiate experience

Students and professors discuss the importance of finding enjoyment in the stress.  |  Caleb Raney/THE CHIMES

 

While walking to class, waiting in line at the Caf and sipping an Americano during an 8 a.m., one can hear complaints everywhere. The relentless amount of assigned readings, group projects and tests fuel students’ complaints.

Validation through complaints

Sophomore music in worship major Tiffany Santillan shared that she has complained with her friends before.

“I feel like here [in] the community that [complaining] is just a given: you talk to your friends and it's like, ‘Oh, my professor is grading so hard or is giving me so much work,’" Santillan said.

The chatter among students serves as a way for students to process their emotions. However, Santillan added that complaining about class internally validates and excites the complaints.  

“I can see it being more negative in that you kind of find someone else who has your same frustration and that intensifies your frustrations because you're like, ‘Oh someone else is feeling the same way as me, so it must be right,’” Santillan said.

In an Afterdark last fall, professor of biblical and theological studies Erik Thoennes described the conscious decision to endure hardships rather than enjoy blessings.

In an academic environment, we get into this deadly mentality. That’s what I call parenthetical living,” Thoennes said to the audience.

Students pay lots of money for and invest a lot of time in college. However, when students fill the void caused by the lack of gratitude with complaints, they see college as a burden, according to Thoennes.

“Get out of that mentality that just wants to endure until it’s done,” Thoennes said to the audience.

Assistant professor of modern languages Itzel Reyes recognizes while students face hardships, this remains a normal part of life.

“Even as Christians, God doesn't promise us a perfect life. There will be struggles, and the struggles of college students are very real,” Reyes said.

not something we just go through

Reyes confronts the habit of measuring the goodness of classes and professors based on easiness.

“Sometimes [college] will be easier, but that doesn't mean college should be easy or that it is easy… college is not something that we just go through. You're acquiring skills. You're acquiring knowledge that will help you in the work force and that is helping you now, and, especially here at Biola, it's helping your spiritual life in wholesome education,” Reyes said.

Student Evaluation Forms, offered near the end of each semester, offer a place for students to voice their concerns, frustrations and praises for classes and professors. Reyes expressed the form acts as neither a complaint card nor a praise card.

“Especially as Christians, we should edify one another,” Reyes said. “There are ways to provide constructive criticism that strays away from insulting people. So I tell [my students] the statement ‘too much homework’ does not help me.”

To combat complaining, Santillan focuses on the fact that collegiate hardships will end one day and she will miss it.

“Once this college time is over, I am going to miss it so much no matter how hard it was, no matter how stressful it was. And I see it now that, with all the friends I've made and all the people I've met, I'm going to miss it so much,” Santillan said.

 

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  1. Renee

    I've been thinking about this a lot lately! Thanks for articulating this problem so well. November 20, 2017

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