It seems all I do is complain these days when it comes to hiring. Well, some call it complaining, I call it…..” raising awareness ”. I think having a kid in college, unfortunately, has opened my eyes to things I didn’t dream of or have nightmares about actually. The good news is, at least in my mind, I believe all of this “raising awareness” may be helping some. Over the last several years I have found that interacting with college graduates has become increasingly challenging. Sure, I can get past (see my old Newsletter – Is College ruining our kids?) undoing most of the 4-year habits of enjoying on-campus Starbucks and rock climbing walls but we have now stumbled into scarier territory. “I have to be at work at what time?” Exactly. Somewhere in the last 10 years the idea of starting work at 8 am has been lost. For that matter, the concept of working until 5 pm has been lost. Seems harder and harder to truly have a full day of work logged. You bounce between the “7:59 am stumble in” and the “4:55 pm get the hell out of here dash”. The 7:59 am walk in, sit down, get coffee, go to the bathroom, talk about how the Sixers tanked last night now it is 8:30 am doesn’t work.
But hey, I get it. When you spend 4 or 5 or 6 years sleeping until noon, walking to class in your pajamas with greasy hair and eating a burrito on your way back to your “apartment” for an afternoon nap it can be difficult to get up at 6 am, shower, dress and get to work on time. But guess what…that is the real world. So….I think that ALL colleges should start classes at 7:30 am ( go on and hate on me) 5 days a week and your last class should start at 4 pm and be over at 5:30 pm. Afterward, go grab some dinner and start doing homework. Rinse and repeat. Most people who know me know I am big into routines. Not dance routines, but doing the same thing over and over routines. There have been books written on routines! Morning routines, work out routines, breakfast routines, you name it. And yet, college, which is supposed to be “preparing you for life” is as un-routine as you can get.
From one not so old man’s perspective, college is a freewheeling hippy jam fest. Newsflash to the academic world….the experiment is failing. Now I know you have labored to create these “real world” classes like having the engineering students design a Tetris game on the outside of the PECO building in Philadelphia or build a popsicle stick bridge and break it but come on, really? Sure, it is fun, but do we really need more fun? Give you a hint…NO! What we need are productive members of society. Sorry if those three words in that specific order offended anybody, but that is what we need.
And so..to recap. Classes start at 7:30 am, Monday through Friday. Classes end at 5:30 pm Monday through Friday. In between you do your wash, eat, study and “prepare for real life”. And before you say there aren’t enough classrooms for this, I would guess we could easily convert some Starbucks, Chik Fil A’s, and Chipoltle’s into classrooms. Heck, it would probably be a pretty routine job!