Summary of William Zinsser’s article “College Pressures.”
“College Pressures” is an article written in 1979 by William Zinsser of Branford College. The author focuses on pressures faced by college students caused by their dire need to succeed (Zinsser 2). Zinsser identifies the four types of pressures that work on students: economic, parental, peer, and self-indulged ones. Economic situation sums up to a big expenditure such that even if a student decides to do part-time jobs in the course of his or her studies, and full-time jobs during the summer, he/she will not manage to clear all the debts by the time he or she finishes college (Zinsser 3).
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Parents want the best for their children; they want them to pursue prestigious courses like law and medicine. Peer and self-indulgent pressures are related: Many students tend to overwork themselves because of what others are doing. This ends up exerting much tension on these young people, so that they may fit in their circles of friends as well as make the best out of themselves.
Cantor on Universities: Benefits of the universities
In “Civic Engagement: The University as a Public Good,” Nancy Cantor, the Chancellor of the University of Illinois, discusses the benefits of the universities in our societies. What stroke me most when I was reading this article is that it does not only enlarge the leadership skills and initiatives but also discusses the benefits of diversity in academia. I mean, people should know that there is a diversity ad we all should realize it and benefit from it.
I liked the letter by one of the students for a Michigan Student Assembly who shared her experience of rooming with a person of a different race: “One more blind spot disappeared in the slow way things happen when real integration finally occurs” (Cantor 24). Universities provide an environment where people from different races, ethnic groups, backgrounds, and generations can talk, reason, and argue together to come up with a harmonious conclusion. Arts are a good example of building continuous exchanges among people in universities. They help one to get a concept quickly, which would have taken more time to learn.
Cantor, Nancy. “Civic Engagement: The University as a Public Good.” Liberal Education 90.2 (2004): 18-25. Print.
Zinsser, William. “College Pressures.” The Norton Reader. Pasadena, CA: Norton-Simon Publishing, 1978. Print.