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Dichotomy: you either give it your all, or don’t give any at all.

Every semester at school, all the parking lots/structures are completely full. Even then, there are an abundance of cars patrolling every corner fighting for a vacant spot. In almost every class, ten or more students (up to 25) are fighting for three to five open seats. Of course, most of them leave discontent while the lucky ones receive the add code.

Now, fast forward to the last three weeks of the semester. The last day to drop a class without receiving a letter grade was this past weekend. The four-story parking structure has been leveled one floor; the 4th floor is always empty. Classrooms with 50 seats available now have at least 20 empty ones.

Instead of waking up 01:05 hours before the start of class, I now wake up 45 minutes prior. The subtraction of time is a direct result of not needing to park in the neighborhoods on the outskirts of school, and taking 15 minutes to walk to class.

What is it that caused the sudden decrease of cars and students? What is it that the students needed to deal with that coincided with their class schedule? What is it that’s so important that the students, who once fought so valiantly for an open seat, drop their course(s)?

I don’t have a clear cut answer for that; I cannot read minds. However, looking at the scenario from an outside perspective, it annoys me tenfold that the aforementioned students are stealing (yes, stealing) another person’s seat who potentially would have passed the course. It frustrates me seeing students get turned away from one of their required courses.

I had an epiphany regarding the essence of time. People often say, “time is money.” They are absolutely correct in the sense that time has intangible value. Every time a student doesn’t finish a class, all the time spent in the classroom has been wasted. The opportunity cost of the time spent could have been used in a productive/profitable way. If they weren’t directly affecting anybody else, I wouldn’t care AS much. But, their selfishness is adversely affecting another person’s time as well. And, time is valuable.

A biology professor of mine once proposed his ideas of college reform: Enrolled students must pay a much higher cost for every unit taken. Upon finishing the course with a passing grade, he/she will be reimbursed with most of the fees. Those who either do not pass the course or drop the class will lose all the fees he/she paid. Building upon his proposal, I would add insult to injury: If a student has dropped more than 2-3 courses within a certain amount of semesters, their registration priority lowers considerably. They’ll then register later than newer/more consistent students.

I don’t have any bias in this matter, for I register on the very first day and will get all my classes. I don’t mind the long walk to school every beginning of the semester. I don’t mind waking up a little earlier each morning. What I do mind is how apparent the dwindling number of cars are in the neighborhoods, streets, and the parking lots/structures. Please, take this dichotomy to heart: don’t half-ass anything. If you’re not going to give it your all, then don’t give anything at all.

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