Sep 23, 2023

Are we over-glorifying drop-outs?

 A few months back, I was talking to someone who had recently joined the workforce after completing Engineering. During our conversation, he proudly claimed, "I never attended any classes. I would be outside the classroom most of the time but I would somehow sail through exams at the last minute". I didn't intervene or judge him. It is his choice to skip classes.

But what worries me is that this trend of being "the drop-out", "the last bencher", and "the one who bunks all classes" is considered cool and aspirational. Not just that, some of them end up propagating (on their respective YouTube channels or social media pages) that they have achieved big in life after dropping out of school/college/university, etc. This is being glorified in movies to a great extent.

Can one become successful in the eyes of society IF one drops out of college? Sure, why not?

But such turnaround only happens to very few people owing to their specialized skills, networking, financial backing from family, or sheer luck.

Not every person who drops out happens to have one or more of these privileges.

However, this kind of glorification sets bad precedence amongst the youngsters and their attitudes towards learning, knowledge, the importance of hard work, discipline, patience, resilience and persistence to focus on something that they are not so keen on.

Such negative attitudes towards learning also tend to dilute the respect towards those who impart learning.

A teacher once told a class I was part of - "If the students show a lot of interest and enthusiasm in class, the teacher feels special and motivated. We feel inspired to do more preparation before stepping into the class".

In a class, if only a handful show genuine interest and the rest either do not show up or are least bothered about what's happening, it is hard for a teacher to sustain her motivation.

The effectiveness of a teacher is not only dependent on her skills and experience but also on the involvement of the student.

In any course, one takes back as much as one is willing to give in terms of time, interest, effort, and commitment.

P.S. Pic taken on the last day of my MBA at IIMB in 2009. I feel so grateful to have attended the lectures of some fantastic Professors.

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