Letter to the editor: Failed aspirations

Dear editor, As an avid reader of The Vermont Cynic, I was disappointed with the article “Hitting the books with newfound enthusiasm” by Josephine Miller. While the article clearly had good intentions, it failed to capture the big picture of the college experience. True, college should be about “learning for learning’s sake” and being “excited about being here and appreciating every moment of it.” But let’s be realistic, shall we? What student — even if they vow to be enthusiastic from day one — jumps out of bed at 7:45 a.m. with a manic grin and skips to class humming show tunes? Being the first newspaper edition of the year, this article could have put forth more realistic, obtainable and practical goals for students instead of pointless ideology. Apart from content, airy phrases such as “People here work hard, and we don’t do it for ourselves — we do it for each other” did nothing to improve the overall tone of the article. Readers want energetic and to-the-point prose, not pretentious phrases that amount to little value. In fact, I would counter that most students don’t care what the GPA is of the kid sitting next to them in first-period chemistry. Claiming that people are completely selfless is hogwash, and quite frankly, it makes Miller seem out of touch with the student body. The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to set personal objectives. The focus of Miller’s article should have been more than asking students to smile as they trudge through the snow on their way to class. Why not encourage students to set goals for themselves about both class work and life outside school? These could range from having more productive study sessions to partying responsibly to finding a healthy balance between working, socializing and sleeping. There are so many tangible issues that concern students, none of which Miller mentioned in her article. Each year we are faced with finding new friends, schedules, places to eat, clubs, study spots and more. A new school year is much more than just a return to textbooks, and likewise it is silly to pretend that college is entirely about academics. Speaking of resolutions, I have one for The Cynic. Let this be the year that articles are written with the student in mind. Ditch the grandiose propositions and the irrelevant topics. As I overheard one student say in the Marché today, “Let’s keep it real, man.” I could not have said it better myself. Sincerely, Bianca Mohn Class of 2015