GRE Issue Essay 59

“College students-and people in general-prefer to follow directions rather than make their own decisions. Therefore, colleges should eliminate as many choices as possible in order to offer students clear direction.”

College students are at a stage when they are prepared to take the world in their own stride. In such a case, when they are offered a number of choices they can get confused as to what is best for them. They might look for guidance from others but eventually it is their big decision that matters. However, restricting their options and making them follow a predefined path is not the solution. I believe that they should be encouraged to take the decision for themselves out of a variety of choices in front of them.

A child holds the finger of his father to learn anything new. He depends upon the decisions of his father and blindly follows them. However, if he continues to do so he will never be able to make decisions on his own. He should be given the knowledge of what is good or bad for him. Only then will he become independent of his father and learn to live on his own. It is gradually that he learns to take decisions for himself. While some decisions might be correct, some of them might prove to be a disaster. However, we learn from our experiences. If we do not experience failure due to a wrong decision, we will never get a chance to correct ourselves. The colleges give us an opportunity to trust our decisions. At the age when the student is ready to join college, he is grown up enough to take up the responsibility of deciding for himself. Thus, colleges should encourage the student and should not eliminate its options by giving a clear direction to be followed.

At the college level, students choose the stream that they want to follow. This becomes their career path. Each student is different and so are his or her interests. Therefore, given a choice they will choose the stream in which they have a natural interest. However, if they are debarred of such a choice, they will be forced to follow predefined directions. This may be contrary to their interests. However, this is a lifelong decision and it will be unfair to force them to follow a career that they are not interested in. For example, if a student has interest in journalism and mass communication, it would be incorrect to make him follow the course of engineering.

The statement says that college students as well as people in general prefer to follow directions. I do not agree that this is a general trend. If a person is dominating, he will not follow directions given to him. He would choose to follow a path directed by his instinct and principles. Directions are followed only by submissive people. It is only if a person feels that following directions can make their work easier and less complicating that they follow directions. However, we cannot say that all people have a submissive nature in general. I believe that there are all kinds of people, submissive as well as dominating, those who prefer to follow directions and those who prefer to direct themselves.

Conclusively I would like to maintain that the purpose of college-level studies is not just to give academic and professional qualification or complete the education of a student. A college prepares the student to take his own decisions in life. It is the responsibility of colleges to develop the personality of a student into a confident and independent person. Therefore, instead of restricting all this by eliminating the choices a student has, the colleges should encourage them to take their own decisions.