HOW Much?

Just when I thought I’d seen it all, here comes this little piece of research:

“The vast majority of students (87%) say they have felt at least one of their college classes was too challenging and should have been made easier by the professor,” the survey found.

However, 71 percent of students spend fewer than 10 hours per week on studying, and a total of 87 percent of students spend fewer than 15 hours per week hitting the books.

The survey organization found that about one-third of students who think they work hard fail to put in more than five hours a week into schoolwork.

Back when I were a student, I would spend about six hours per day studying, excluding lecture time, and a lot more if there was a test, exam or paper coming up.

Granted, I was studying History and French — not hard courses, just ones requiring some extra-curricula study — so I found the work ridiculously easy.  (Had I been doing Organic Chem… oy.)

But the very thought of asking a professor to make the course easier?  The way I always looked at it was that if the course was hard, that just meant I had to work harder — it was like a competition between me, the professor and the subject matter — and there was no way I was ever going to let those two bastards beat me.

But nowadays, where there seems to be an “app” for everything (meaning that someone else has done the work for you), it’s small wonder that today’s snowflakes think that “hard” means actually having to think, and learn.

After all:  who needs a brain when you’ve got batteries?


  1. So if you’re taking an average course load of 15 credit hours, and only doing 5 hours of study per week, that’s a 20 hour work week.


  2. Back in the dawn of time, the only college courses I took that were “hard” were better described as “taught poorly.”

    The worst was a trigonometry class that was taught by a Chinese grad student who couldn’t speak intelligible English, to the point they replaced her two weeks into the course.

    Second-worst was a chemistry class taught by a full professor who had the bad habit of skipping entire pages in his lecture notes. The lab instructors had to spend most of their time explaining the gaps.

  3. I doubt I spent more than 2 hours studying for any class when in college back during the late Jurassic period. We needed to know how to use a slide rule then and there were no Gentleman’s B at our school. I will admit I went to every class and did every assignment especially for math courses. One semester I didn’t even buy the books because I was short on money. I did fail logic the first time and got an A on the second attempt, it was all on the professors.

    More importantly, my grades and courses had no impact in my getting a job EVER! No one ever asked for a transcript or my grade in chemistry or physics much less anything else. My first post college employer hired me because we both wrestled at the same high school . Every job after was based on the job before until I went to work for myself.

    Every so often I think I should have been a better student but I had too much fun and it had no impact on my ability to get employment . The difference is I never expected my teachers to cut me any slack, something youngsters today think they are owed.

  4. Nothing new here, college students have been transitioning into snowflakes for decades.
    When I took Fortran programming in the 80’s students went to the Dean of Students to complain the instructor was “mean”. He had a list of assignments that were due by certain dates and would assist you as many times as needed prior to that date. Students were upset that he would not accept late assignments.
    Not to mention that Intro to Algebra was a class, a subject that I had learned in the 7th grade back in the 60’s.

  5. In engineering school I cannot count the hours I spent studying. Nursing school I was MIA from about August through Thanksgiving, saw people for dinner then I was gone again until Christmas. The Spring semester was the same way. if I wasn’t in class, lab, studying, at clinicals I was working to keep the roof over our heads.

    too much of today’s college is really just a four year long weekend at a bar with a $80,000 cover charge. Scratch that, you can actually learn something useful out in the world. Not so much in the insulated world of academia.


  6. At Virginia Tech, the College of Engineering told us that we could expect to spend three hours studying for every hour in the classroom. And the normal course load was 17-18 credits. Which works out to a 70-hour week. We needed 203 quarter-hour credits to graduate (most majors required 184)…and IIRC, only 39 of those were NOT either hard science, engineering, or higher math courses.

    It was a brutally hard program, but the survivors were ready to go to work without further education.

  7. Back in the 1970’s, even liberal arts majors were expected to spend at least 2 hours of study and homework for every hour of lecture – a standard 15 credit hour load meant at least 45 hours work a week, and that was the easy courses. It seemed a rather light load to me and I’d have preferred to carry 18 hours – until I switched from Physics to Engineering, and then I learned to work _hard_.

    For most kids, I recommend a work break between high school and college. Get out and earn a living flipping burgers, stocking groceries, or toting materials around a construction site. Then you’ll know why you’re going to college and you’ll take it seriously. I can think of a few exceptions, such as a friend that found his father dead when he was 5, decided to be a doctor right then, and never wavered. But although he knew why he was going to college, he still needed several work breaks. With only his mother working as a secretary to back him, he had to do pre-med and medical school as 15 months working and 9 months school, year after year… But he made it!

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