There’s something I don’t understand about college classes – mandatory class end times. I understand lectures will require that the students stay all the way through the end, because there’s teaching being done right up until the lecture is over. But in lab classes, where your primary activity is working on the project at hand…I’ve never understood why some teachers require you to stay until a certain time. One of my teachers maintains that she’s trying to prepare us for the ‘real world,’ and I respect that. But this is college. Aren’t we at a point now where we should be trusted to make those types of decisions for ourselves? Perhaps in doing so, we will learn something important about ourselves. If we work better at home, and we find out how that works for us, maybe that will drive us to find a job that allows us to do just that. If we work best in the lab or professional environment, then we can look for a job of that same situation. For some reason, in one of my classes, my teacher would prefer that we sit in the classroom on our phones or browsing the internet on our computers, rather than leave and work on other projects, or build into our lives outside of school.

And why is it assumed that students shouldn’t or don’t have a life outside of the classroom? Particularly in a community college. The vast majority of us enrolled in the community college have quite a busy life outside of the classroom. Full or part-time jobs, a husband/wife, kids. Families and responsibilities that require our time and attention. It’s not that we don’t want to be dedicated to our studies, it’s that we just don’t have the capacity to be completely engrossed in our studies and our lives. Even now, in my lightest semester to date, I struggle to balance my school life and my home life. I’m blessed that my husband supports my pursuit of education, and is willing to work on things around the apartment when I drop the ball. But not all students have that. Some are run ragged by their full-time jobs that refuse to work with the class schedule.

It’s time that we allow our kids to fail. No one likes to see their kids fail, but guess what – kids don’t like to fail either. If we allow them to falter and stumble, yet stay near enough to help them pick themselves up, and dust themselves off, they will learn to look for and avoid the obstacles in their path. That’s how we raise successful, independent adults.