America has always been in a struggle between the pursuit of riches and simple living.
The exploration of the New World at its start was to discover roads paved with gold, however, our earliest settlements and settlers were Puritans and Quakers.
The Boston Tea Party was an attempt by colonists to thwart the money-grubbing rich back in England from living off of them no more.
George Washington might be thought of today as a “shopaholic.” The father of our nation loved the best; he was known to work in shopping to perfect Mount Vernon when his journeys allowed.
Henry David Thoreau’s very thesis in his classic book Walden was an appeal for Americans to “simplify,” a theme that continues to inspire to this day. In the eras of both Washington and Thoreau, the word consumption meant “to destroy.” Tuberculosis (TB) was known originally as “consumption.”
That Americans were first to invent and embrace the modern shopping mall is not a coincidence. American malls have well placed ATM banking machines, Multi-Mega-plex IMAX Cinemas, and gigantic food courts, all designed to create an acceptable place for the public to be, all day long and night, encouraging continuous consumption. Once teenagers love something too, it’s ‘Merican.
UCLA annually conducts a freshman college study. In 2012 the study cited three out of four freshman’s reason to go to college was: “to be able to make more money,” an all-time high (74.6%). Related, another all-time high (81.0%), the top personal goal of freshman: “being very well off financially,” freshmen qualify it too as “essential.”
The UCLA study identifies a mismatch between freshmen expectations and the reality that seniors find at graduation. A barometer that signals this affect is the freshmen response to feeling frequently “overwhelmed by all I had to do,” another all-time high response (30.4% in 2012), a steady upward trend.
What does it mean? Is there a ray of hope in a sea of worry? One positive outcome seems to be a correlation between freshmen who respond to being overwhelmed, and also that there is a “very good chance” they will “participate in practices that will help them successfully navigate the transition to college.” In other words, overwhelmed but willing to grab a life-preserver if tossed. Among overwhelmed freshmen, 41.1% reported being “likely to get tutoring,” as opposed to chilled out freshmen, who do not feel overwhelmed (26.0%).
Taken together, these findings spotlight the necessity that tutoring services, such as The ASC, be available to support and promote students’ self-efficacy, which should be essential. It follows then that students who grab the life-preserver (get tutoring), significantly raise their academic and personal performance levels, often by whole letter grades, which leads to academic, career, and personal success. A great reason to go to college. Seek out and consume that … those are shoes worth fighting over.