A degree is just a piece of paper


If you haven’t noticed by now, classes are basically a big waste of time. Alright not all of them, but I would say most. As if taking classes in English wasn't challenging enough, think about taking courses in Korean. There are international students who really do work hard and squeeze the most out of them but is it really worth the effort they put in? I don’t know, but what I do know that I learn more interning in the lab rather than classes. That’s for sure.

Do I get a certificate for that? No, but I actually take the time and effort to learn the basics of tasks that have been tagged as “my responsibility.” And I learn that way. Of all the classes that are enlisted on my transcript, I can honestly say I found a handful of classes genuinely helpful. Most of the classes, I was either scrapping for my grades or was basically nonchalant about it. Motivation was really an issue.

Personally, I find it motivating if I know how should prepare for an upcoming exam. Similar to how you need to prepare the right ingredients with the right proportion for cooking up a masterclass chicken curry, you need to create the right recipe in cooking up the grade that you want in your transcript. I have absolutely no issue in taking courses that are difficult given the fact that I know how to prepare for those challenging exams.

Well that’s the issue isn’t it? We don’t. and we screw up.

The problem:
My juniors were taking a course this semester and I found out a close friend of mine was a TA for the class. This meant that he would set the questions and mark the paper. Awesome.

I approached him with prudence of course. I didn’t want him to get in trouble and I wanted my juniors to score better. Not exactly a win-win but something very close. After unsuccessful attempts at trying to pinpoint what chapter was important, I asked the million dollar question that wasn’t supposed to be the million dollar question. How should they prepare for the exams?

His answer was to read the book.

There is a reason for students, especially international students, who don’t have access to past papers, smart seniors and “source”, as you would like to call, to avoid classes they deem difficult but necessary. There were courses which I really wanted to take, however, with no available resources, I just had to take a class that I could score way better and put a glossy, polished look on my GPA. How the fuck am I supposed to learn with that anyways?  

On my final year, I am beginning to realize that degree is just a piece of paper. A glossy, polished paper. 

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