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by Vault Education Editors | July 07, 2009


Earlier this spring, Campus Grotto surveyed over 1,000 undergrads about their biggest college gripes. The questions asked seem to be pretty general, as the answers vary greatly. Here are the Top 10 complaints:

  1. Parking. The school's parking situation sucks and the parking rates are crazy.
  2. The price of textbooks! You spend hundreds of dollars on them and only use them for a few months. It seems like such a rip off.
  3. The cafeteria food is gross.
  4. Having to take mandatory prerequisites and electives.
  5. 7am classes.
  6. College is too expensive.
  7. The school is too big; too many students.
  8. There is a lack of community feel at a big college.
  9. When TA's end up teaching most of the class instead of the actual professor.
  10. When the professor publishes their own textbook and requires it for their class. Seems so unfair.

Of the top 36 posted on Campus Grotto's blog, some are fairly constructive and invite administrations to make changes in class and on campus, which would improve the quality of life for students (#12 "Being forced to abide to the school's meal plan."). Some are reflective of systemic problems with higher education overall (#33 "College (in general) places too much of an emphasis on academic success and not enough on professional development."). Other student complaints imply that respondents somehow miss the point of a college education (#14 "The time constraint it has on you. College is a lot of work to handle all at once.").

Although I enjoyed reading the complaints--especially those that fell in the third category, such as #21 "Having to walk through the snow in the winter months"--overall they're just a bit, well, whiney. No college is perfect, whether it's Harvard or Cal State Long Beach. You're not supposed to like your roommates all the time. (#17) You're going to have to learn things you may not like. (#4) You're going to have to read. A lot. (#23) And you're not supposed to be well-rested all the time. (#28) These are shared experiences that all college students endure. Every part of college is a learning experience--from adjusting to live on your own, dealing with tons of your peers all in one place and gaining a ton of new knowledge from classes and personal exploration.

So suck it up. This is college. It's supposed to be hard.


Filed Under: Education|Grad School

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