“There’s nothing to do.”
“I have too much homework.”
These are just a few of the complaints I frequently hear on my way to class. I hate to admit it, but I like to eavesdrop on people’s conversations, it’s like my own way of getting my own daily dose of drama without actually being a part of any myself. The thing is, most of the time, when I listen in on conversations, typically it’s just students whining about anything they can think of. It seems that nothing ever fully pleases us as students considering we complain about everything, and I mean everything.
It has become a habit for our generation to complain. It needs to stop.
“There’s nothing to do here on the weekends…or ever.”
Well, there are things for you to do here; you just don’t want to do them. There’s a movie theater, a bowling alley, various events hosted by student organizations and there’s always the option of having some good ole quality time with your friends. Just because we are a dry campus doesn’t mean you still can’t have fun.
“Marbeck doesn’t have anything to eat.”
Actually, there’s plenty of food to eat in the Commons. Sure, it might not be the best food you have ever eaten, but it’s still food. And if you thought the quality of our food was bad, can you imagine it at a big state school? Bowling Green State University has around 6,000 residential students, which means they are feeding 10 times more people than Bluffton. Do you think their cooks take as much time and effort as the ones at Bluffton to make sure the quality of each dish they have to choose from is present?
“Don’t professors realize their class isn’t the only one we’re in? I can’t write this paper.”
You can’t write it or you won’t? Trust me, professors know you’re in other classes and that sometimes there are nights where you have a lot of homework to do. That’s the thing about being a full-time student— you’re expected to take your studying seriously. I know there are some nights where you just want to relax and watch the next episode of your show on Netflix, but you’re in college. Your education should be your top priority, even if that means putting a little bit more time into doing your homework and not keeping up with the Kardashians.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s something cathartic about complaining. I’ll admit I spend a fair amount of time complaining myself. Sometimes, I don’t even realize I’m doing it until someone points it out to me. It’s a way for me to take all this built up anger and stress that I have without having a major outburst.
In a way, complaining is oddly satisfying. Not to mention that it’s always nice to feel like people are listening to you and your needs. Robin Kowalski, a psychology professor at Clemson University, found in a study that complaining could actually make you happier. Kowalski and her colleagues also found that we can still benefit from complaining, even if nothing is done to remedy the actual complaint. There’s a strategic manner to the art of complaining. As long as you know when to complain and to whom, include some facts and logic and you’re good to go.
I have barely scratched the surface of the things students, myself included, complain about. And while different students seem to complain about slightly different things, their excuse for doing so always seems to stem from the same source.
The refrain goes, “We pay so much money to come here; therefore we have the right to complain about everything.”
The thing is, you really don’t. You didn’t have to come here. This was your decision.
You might not realize it now, but we are truly lucky to have the things we do at Bluffton. It might not seem like it because we hear about all the other things other universities have and you compare the two. It doesn’t matter which university you go to. At the end of the day, you are able to get an education, unlike many other people in the world.
While education should be a right for all people, it’s not. It’s still a privilege enjoyed by certain people. You are privileged enough to be able to further your education.
Countless others wish they could be in your place; they would be grateful for the things you complain about daily. Eighty-three percent of Americans say they cannot afford the expense of a college education according to a recent Edward Jones survey. The UN reports nearly 60 million primary school-aged children across the world are not in school getting a basic education, let alone higher education.
So why don’t we all stop taking it for granted?