Back to School Mayhem
It’s arrived. From coast to coast, from preteens to young adults, students will be streaming into classrooms today to begin a new school year. While the younger ones will have a well-packed lunchbox to tote along and perhaps a friendly yellow school bus packed with noisy comrades to pick them up, the picture is a little different for college or university students who must set out on their own.
According to statistics, about two million students enroll each year in postsecondary education. Ready to instruct them are 45,000 full-time professors, paid to share their knowledge and experience with eager young minds.
The first day is always packed with a busy schedule and general mayhem as students get settled in and find their way around campus corridors. Getting lost, perhaps a few times, is just part of the fun.
Not so fun is the thought of paying steep tuition fees, a dilemma which faces most young scholars. The average tuition weighs in around $5,772. Training to be a teacher is the most affordable, with tuition at $4,400, whereas students at Dentist school pay the highest tuition at $17,300. Now you know why that root canal cost so much!
While the costs are on the high side, it’s not all bad news. Time spent in the classroom is typically rather low for university students, with an average of only 15 hours a week spent in class. Here’s the catch, though: the average time spent outside the classroom on studying, reading textbooks, and completing assignments equals 17 hours, which brings your academic time investment to 32 hours each week.
The only thing you’ll see more of than textbooks is cellphones, since they have become ubiquitous, even in classrooms as young as Grade 4 where it’s estimated that one-quarter of students have their own device. The figure increases to 50 per cent by Grade 7, and 85 per cent by Grade 11. By the time kids get to university, smartphones have pretty much become a part of their DNA.
Speaking of phones, don’t be surprised to get a text from mom to see how your first day is going. After all, your next visit back home will likely be a few months away. For now, settle in and buckle down for the task at hand: learning!