posted 2011-05-11 12:00:26

College Students Who Have Chosen to Major in Criticism

College Students Who Have Chosen to Major in Criticism

Jasmin Copeland

Staff Writer



College is a place where knowledge is extremely treasured. Some students attend universities to pursue their career goals; others go to obtain a sense of independence from their parents. Nevertheless, it is understood that young adults go to college for a variety of reasons; however, in reflecting on my past four years at Hunter, it seems to me that the most important justification for attaining a four-year degree should be learning how to become a critic.

As young children, we were probably taught by our elders to refrain from being too critical because it’s bad manners, or because you don’t want to seem overtly cynical or pessimistic. However, at the cusp of graduation, it is important to realize that while these Bachelor’s Degrees in chemistry or history are undeniably significant, it is also crucial for us and for society to receive a “degree” in criticism.

Now, I am not talking about mean-spirited or destructive criticism, but rather the kind that is a thoughtful critique of all the circumstances and conditions that occur in our society. It seems that the media, along with our global community in general, has lost its zeal to constantly question and investigate the political and social processes that exist in our world. However, many courses at Hunter have prompted students to critically assess every social and political occurrence that has led to the disastrous ramifications that we are experiencing in our present-day environment.

This notion of being critical is one of the most important lessons that college can teach any student. We are living in a time where politicians are constantly pursuing their own self interests instead of the well-being of the American people, and greedy millionaires who have caused incurable economic crises are receiving financial bail-outs while struggling students are having difficulties paying rising tuition costs and MetroCard fees. These conditions are undeniably absurd, and we as college undergrads have to use the critical skills that we have acquired at Hunter to call out and rectify these societal inequalities.

Sometimes it is easy to earn an education and get a job, turning a blind eye to the social predicaments that need to be resolved. For those of us who were lucky enough to enter and finish college, we have a responsibility to our posterity to ensure that today’s social problems will not affect the CUNY students of tomorrow. Ultimately, this can only happen if the graduates of our time remain the relentlessly critical and dynamic intellectuals that Hunter has taught us to be. If we don’t, there will definitely be some critical repercussions due to our lack of not outwardly questioning or confronting issues that are obviously wrong.