Education has become the main thing for any person all over the word. The most sort form of education is college education, where each and every student is striving to be a college graduate. When it comes to employment, most of the employers consider the education background of an individual, to enable them secure a slot in their companies. These, among many other factors, are some of the reasons why college education has been made to be compulsory among students and their families, and the general public, in the present generation. This thinking or ideas brings with it pressure especially on the students, although there are advantages of acquiring the education. In this paper, we shall discuss compare and contrast on the college pressures that are experienced in Asia and those that William Zinsser describes in his essay, college pressures, and focus mostly on the comparisons.
In his essay, Zinsser states that with the harsh economy being experienced, the cost of putting up a child through college has increased with the cost being up to about $7, 000. The high fees and money needed for other important things in school like buying books among many others, drags parents and even students into debts that follow them up for a long time’’ (Zinsser 8).I interviewed a college friend in Korea, and there was no much difference. The education system has become expensive, and this has led to many of debts among most of the families over there. The parents struggle to put their children through the college education and to do this; some sell their apartments and even borrow money from friends and family members. Some live below their budget and forgo some need to see their children through the college system. The above information therefore shows that the college system has much pressure on the students and even the parents especially when it comes to finances. There is so much borrowing of funds to pay the tuition fee and for the upkeep that a student need while in college.
Peer pressure is also another factor in the pressures that the students face in their college life. In his essay, Zinsser describes the events that one of the college deans described to him; two roommates saying that they were facing too much pressure. One of the roommates, Linda, said that she was having pressure since her roommate was studying a lot, and it made her feel that she was not doing her best. The dean said that the other roommate, Barbra, had been to the dean’s office to complain about the same issue; her friend was studying a lot. Such pressure led to induced pressure as both parties tried to be better than the other. The issue above does not happen only in America. For Zhang, the pressure that he gets from his classmates and mostly his cousins is too much. Although his cousin is in business school, he spends most of his time reading which makes Zhang feel like he is not doing enough academically. In turn, this makes him spend most of his time reading, to make sure that his cousin does not become better than him.
In the present, what most of the college students are more interested in is going through college and making sure that they get well-paying jobs. The recent culture where people want to earn as much as possible has also made students want a life that they can start earning as much as possible right after college. They wish to get to the best universities which are a ticket to the best companies in their field. According to Zinsser; the students have much pressure as they just want to finish their college education and graduate. According to him, the students in the present do not spend much of their time relaxing and sampling courses they want to major in from a wide variety of courses such as humanities and poetry which would give them liberty after school for being educated people in the society. During the interview, Zhang argues that even though his parents made him take a course that he never loved, he feels good knowing that after the program is done, he can secure a good job for himself, where he can earn much money. He, therefore, argues that he has to ensure he performs well in his exams to help him have academic papers that can help him compete for the few slots even in the jobs. It shows that the pressure that these students go through just to finish school and be employed is much; the academics demand a lot from them as they have to pass their exams. There is also much competition from other students, so they have to work harder and be better than the rest.
It was also worth noting that as the students in America face much pressure from their professors as they are given many assignments, and materials to read, the students in Korea too had such issues. According to Zhang, most of the times he spends studying in the school library and at home, he spends it going through the extra reading materials that the teachers recommended for reading, or doing the pile of assignments that he usually has. This shows that though these colleges are in different countries and continents for that matter, the reading and studying cultures are almost the same.
The difference with these two cultures and their studying methods is that many parents in Korea and even Asia as a whole prefer their students to study from abroad. The students too want to study from abroad, as a shortcut to finish school much faster. Studying abroad is very expensive compared to studying from home, and this explains why some parents struggle with life to take their children through school in Korea, even though they are working. According to Zhang, some of his classmates in high school travelled to study from abroad, and their parents struggle a lot to pay for their tuition fee, upkeep and the travelling expenses. For those that study in America, and are from America, though the tuition fee is high for them, the fee is much different from what the foreign students pay. The tuition for the foreign students is much higher and thus, their parents do not struggle as much as they do.
The other difference is that, for the American students, some have time to do other extra-curricular activities like joining the drama club and participating in other activities like music, during the free time that they can be able to squeeze in their tight schedules. For Zhang, doing such extra activities as his schedules are very tight and having a very demanding course makes it hard to pursue such activities.
As much as the cultures are different from both perspectives, the similarities of the pressures faced in the colleges are very much similar. The students and the parents struggle through the same issues to make through the college education.
Zinseer, William. College pressures. The Norton Reader, Norton-Simon Publishing, 1978. Print.