My Freshman Year : What A Professor Learned By Becoming A Student Essay example

My Freshman Year : What A Professor Learned By Becoming A Student Essay example

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In a society where a collegiate degree is almost necessary to make a successful living, the idea that a student cares less about the education and more about the “college experience” can seem baffling. In My Freshman Year: What a Professor Learned by Becoming a Student, Rebekah Nathan, the author’s pseudonym, tackles the idea that academics are less impactful on a student then the culture of college life. Nathan, a 50-year-old cultural anthropologist and university professor, went undercover as a college freshman for a research project. From her research, she hoped to better understand the undergraduate experience by fully immersing herself in college life. To do this, she anonymously applied to “AnyU,” a fake acronym for a real university, as a freshman, and she lived in the dorms, attended classes, and socialized with her college peers all while documenting the experience. In the novel, Nathan makes several claims about the life of undergraduates, but in chapter five, she makes the bold statement that the educational experience is less important than college culture for a majority of students.
To better understand Nathan’s claim, we must look at her evidence. She begins the chapter by explaining the importance of invisibility in the classroom. “Don’t be too noticeable is the rule” that is commonly known by most students (91). She elaborates by explaining that a student should not add new information into a conversation yet ask a question that would concern all students about upcoming work or tests. Later in the chapter, she highlights that the instructor 's main role in the classroom is “getting [students] to say something” because students felt pressured into remaining silent (94). This pressure came from personal self-doubt ...


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...ege experience and in the weighing of it over academic life because her broad claim did not take into account that every undergraduate goes through a different experience.
In My Freshman Year, Nathan makes the broad claim that the college experience matters more to undergraduates than the education. After she stated that intellectual life in and outside the classroom does not meet the standards of a university, I highlighted how her own examples and my experience illustrate that a student can get an enriched educational environment by sharing and critically thinking about their thoughts. When considering her research on an undergraduates desire for the college experience, we find fallacies in her conducted study. In addition, there are fallacies to her definition of the college experience which invalidates her claim that undergraduates desire it more than academics.

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