Powerful Essays
Responsibility Actuality

College students are plagued by too much time on their hands. The average college stereotype is kids who spend too much money, drink too much booze, and party too hard. While this isn't true of all college students, as many work very hard to get good grades, get degrees, and have a life, it's true of enough of them that the stereotype does prove itself true quite often. This is the problem that Dave Eggers postulates a way of solving in his essay Serve Or Fail. Eggers' idea of making public service volunteering a mandatory part of your college education is brilliant and would no doubt aid in many areas of College student's lives.

According to Eggers, “...students saw […] hours in need of killing – as opposed to thinking about giving a few of [those] hours to [the] community in one way or another” (583). Given the choice, students would rather become champions in Foosball or drinking games, than donate their obviously plentiful time to charity. Perhaps this is because today's College students have little to no concept of the world around them, and of how much of humanity is suffering on a day to day basis. If a service requirement were made mandatory for graduation, students would have no choice but to confront this “lower” element of humanity – be it serving in a soup kitchen and coming to understand just how bad off the homeless truly are, or even volunteering at the local Society For The Prevention of Cruelty To Animals and seeing that humanity itself is not the only species with problems in this world. The students would come out of their experience with a higher respect for and understanding of the human condition, making them better equipped to live in this modern world. While also carrying the bene...

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... to complete a certain number of hours doing community service, at the beginning, those pioneering students would have to deal with dirty and suspicious looks as they worked. No hard working student should be put into the shoes of a criminal.

Ultimately, while Eggers plan has good merit, it fails in it's execution. Maybe there's something to be said for a modified plan – something that made the community service into another elective class, for college credit, that could count toward humanities, perhaps. Or maybe if it was simply another extracurricular activity that most schools offered – matching those who want to volunteer in order to get a fast pass to graduation, with places to volunteer that would be within their study areas. Volunteering in and of itself is admirable – but no one should be forced to give time when they very well may not have that time to give.
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