Any time something bad happens on Truman State University’s campus, students tend to blame professors or administration because it’s easy. They seem to hold power so we think they should be able to fix problems. It’s like how citizens often blame the government when anything goes wrong, no matter what — people frequently say things like, “Oh no, I dropped my chips! Thanks Obama.” This may be happening because the administration is this big, faceless beast, we assume so much about it. We often forget the administration is made up of real people. We often forget professors are people, too. They’re spouses, caretakers and so much more outside of their jobs.
The administration already has so many responsibilities. Administrators can’t make decisions for everyone, and honestly, they shouldn’t. Part of growing up is gaining the responsibility for decision-making. Students should be able to make the decision on when attending class is or isn’t an option. In the real world, if you get sick, you call in to work saying you can’t make it. At Truman, when there is too much ice for your car safely drive up the hill to Barnett Hall, you should email your professor to say you can’t make it to class. If a class is stressing you out, take a personal day. Students often forget they’re allowed to be happy, so take time if you need it.
The University can try to prevent students from making bad decisions, and they are taking steps to make this more possible. This spring, Truman is implementing a four-year, campus-wide program called JED Campus to enhance mental health services. Also, a group of students have taken initiative to create a supportive organization called Positive Peers to allow other students who may be struggling with their mental health to have an open discussion. There are so many helpful programs being formed, but there is always something you, as an individual, can do.
The best thing students can do is improve the socio-ecological environment of campus. Make Kirksville, and specifically Truman’s campus to be somewhere people want to live. We should try to change what makes a Typical Truman Student. We often praise students who force themselves to the brink by staying up all night and studying, but are those students who are too stressed to eat or sleep really the happiest students? We should encourage all students to calm down. A TTS should be someone who is happy to learn.
We should encourage all students to calm down. We should praise those students who get a lower grade and learn from their mistakes. We should praise those students who reward themselves with Netflix when they finish a homework assignment. We should praise those students who get eight hours of sleep and take care of themselves.
At graduation, the student with a 4.0 GPA and the student with a 2.0 are both Truman graduates. Students covered in cords, medals and stoles and students wearing a plain gown are Truman graduates alike. Calm down, and take it easy. Getting a C as a final grade in statistics won’t kill you, and it’s not the end of the world.