Analysis Of Who Are You And What Are You Doing Here By Mark Edmundson

985 Words 4 Pages
The Oxford American published the essay, “Who Are You and What Are You Doing Here”, in which Dr. Mark Edmundson, as a Yale alumni and English professor at the University of Virginia, persuades incoming college freshmen to choose their passions rather than career fields that will earn them an immense amount of money. Edmundson begins suggesting that students must remain focused and resillent to outside factors in order to assure a successful education. Lastly, the author advises the readers the avoid the guidance of others regarding what they should be accomplishing but rather to use themselves as guidance. While utilizing personal experience and wisdom, Professor Edmundson suggests that in order to receive the richest educational experience …show more content…
He first begins to state that distractions outside of the classroom such as sports and friends can ultimately change your goals inside of the classroom. For example, a student involved in extracurricular activities may decide to follow his fellow peers rather than himself. Also, not remaining focused in class but rather on the outside world such as friends may alter the career path the student goes into and will likely result in the student conforming to societal standards of an ideal career. Edmundson does not only place the blame of distractions on only the students but also the professors of the courses as well. Professors generally aren't focused on the students but rather themselves due to their desires of expanding their own careers. Due to the lack of enthusiasm and energy regarding the subject matter, both the student and professor are not emotionally invested thus the environment is very unproductive. Due to the lack of enthusiasm and honor most professors hold, cheating has become very common in most universities. For example, professors apply less effort in the course so they essentially become inactive in the …show more content…
He begins to address the readers warning students to only seek guidance from themselves rather than others. He suggests that outside surroundings such as family and friends, will guide students into the direction of money rather than what they are truly emotionally attached to. Although he suggests to not take the guidance of others, he still wants students to respect the advice that they are given however not utilize it to base their career decisions. He constantly restates in several ways that the sole determinate of one’s education must be their desires rather than the desires of others. In order to do this, Edmundson believes it is necessary for students to explore other content areas and become well-informed. He truly thinks it is essential for students to explore areas of study not directly connected to their majors in order to discover what they appreciate in life. Becoming well-educated will not only broaden their scope of thought but also broaden the possibilities and opportunities that they will embrace throughout college. For example, when students decide to challenge traditional thinking in order to apply new subject matter into their life and it truly helps shape their perspective of life. This new insight, as supported by Edmundson, may help students find what they adore in

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