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College Pressures Essay

college pressures essay

Example #1

In the essay College Pressures, William Zinsser shows parents the burdens that college students have while they are in school. In the essay, he states the four pressures that the students face: economic, parental, peer, and self-induced.

The reader can be easily confused when Zinsser first begins the essay. It starts off with someone writing notes to someone else, but who is speaking? Zinsser then follows this by fully explaining who is writing the notes, a student, and who he is talking to, his dean. He s explaining that the student is full of pressure and feels he cannot take it anymore.

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Zinsser makes the essay move along smoothly with the use of rhetorical questions and then answers them to prove a point he is making. The classical appeal Zinsser uses in College Pressures is ethos. He is telling the parents what is going on in the minds of the students and the pressures they build up for themselves.

College Pressures is written in a fairly straightforward manner. Zinsser explains the situations without using such terminology that only college professors can comprehend. He also uses understandable metaphors that make the reading more interesting. For example, when he explains that no one is to blame for the pressures, he says, Poor students, poor parents.

They are caught in one of the oldest webs of love and duty and guilt (Zinsser 244). This is a classification and division essay. Throughout it, Zinsser talks about what the pressures of the students are; economic, peer, parental, and self-induced. He then separately explains how each of the pressures affects the students. Zinsser speaks in a way that makes the reader want to continue reading. He is persistent in informing the reader about the pressures and tries very hard to get his point out to the parents.

It may seem that throughout the essay, Zinsser sees the students in a totally negative way. He realizes this and states it to the reader. He tells the parents, I have painted too drab a portrait of today s students, making them seem a solemn lot (246). This isn’t his purpose at all. He is trying to explain that college isn’t a time to have all of these extreme pressures that the students induce upon themselves.

He ends this essay in a way that shows the parents that lots of people go to college and change their paths several times before actually choosing what they want to be. He does this as a way of saying that it is alright to go to college unsure of what you want to be. Things will work out in the end.

William Zinsser is just trying to let parents know that college students have enough on their minds and they don t need their parents giving them a hard time about what to do with their lives. For the sake of their children, he wants the parents to be as supportive as possible.


Example #2

In their texts Both Zinsser and Barber are questioning the conventional assumptions that college is the main passage into a financial and social accomplishment. To achieve these goals students are often faced with unnecessary pressures. Their purpose or reason for challenging such assumptions is to make the readers become aware of the conventional notions and possibly direct them out of their trapped positions to make their own choices. As today’s students will be the potential future leaders and make-up of the society, there is a high stake.

In the past, the society has accomplished to thrive the students into the clicks and false assumptions about college that exist today, nevertheless this accomplishment has opened a door for some critics like Zinsser and Barber to come up with a different view on college education and pressures that can well be the next conventional assumption in the future.

One of the evidence that I found worthy of consideration in Zinsser’s text is that “In the late 1960s”, “the typical question that I got from students was ‘Why is there so much suffering in the world?’ or “How can I make a contribution?’ Today it’s ‘Do you think it would look better for getting into law school if I did a double major in history and political science, or just majored in one of them?” (Zinsser 197)

This evidence shows that the views on college education is transient and can be changed. At the same time, it gives us an idea of what kind of college education Zinsser favors. The real purpose of a college education should not be forced by career or parental influences but by personal choices especially by taking classes in the fields of liberal arts.

Zinsser once again has impressed me with his language and style. Although Zinsser takes a casual language and tone, his early mentioning of his credibility as a master of Bradford College, and his text filled with evidence and citations create a strong appeal, as one reads through his text. One of the styles that I liked was the repetitive use of “I wish” when he tried to point out the possible purposes of his text–this feature effectively strengthened his purpose.

In contrary to Zinsser’s text Barber uses a rather formal language. His Inclusion of the survey and data gives the text more of a factual texture than Zinsser’s. As I read the texts I felt that I was a part of the audience the author had in mind, mainly because I could apply the examples to my daily experiences as a college student.


Example #3

In “ College Pressures,” William Zinsser discusses four types of pressures college students go through. Even though he wrote this in 1978, college students today still experience all four of the pressures. The four pressures Zinsser discusses are an economic, parental, peer, and self-induced. Today’s college students are becoming more and more disconnected from their passions and are being thrown into the world of practicality.

College should be a place of experimentation and discovery, but instead, it’s turned into feelings of stress and fear. students are becoming overwhelmed and stressed with the same “economic pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure, and self-induced pressure” Zinsser speaks of in his essay. College students today undergo even more than the college students from Zinssers ‘ time.

Economic pressure for college students has increased extremely since Zinsser wrote his essay. Back then school at Yale University was only around seven thousand, while in today’s society that would not even cover community college. The prices for higher education have skyrocketed due to the fact that it is now nearly impossible to get a stable job without higher degrees.

Now students not only have to worry about getting a good career in something they really want to do, but they also have to worry about the money. Before their career even starts they will have to worry about paying back that never-ending debt.


Example #4

College Pressures College pressures dominate our lives. They begin to levitate around us and slowly derail our lives. William Zinsser elaborates about the college pressures that modern generations are facing. He reveals multiple commonalities that the typical college student encounters on a daily basis. Zinsser states, “They want a map-right now-that they can follow unswervingly to career security, financial security, social security, and presumably, a prepaid grave”.

He is spot on, the pressures demand my attention and won’t take no for an answer. So far I’ve gone head to head with these pressures every day since I started my freshman year in college. For the time that I’ve been here, my mind is overwhelmed and distraught with the amount of stress that gets piled on top of me every single day.

I drown in these unrealistic expectations written in those faulty suggestion bars about how to be successful in college and college 101 tips. College pressures surround me like a dull gray cloud. It showers me with expectations and unfinished checklists. The college itself is similar to carpooling to hell and back, but with no actual guarantee with a ride back.

I can speak for myself when I say self-induced pressure is a real thing. The pressure circulates around me and I can never seem to escape. I feel an expectancy to always be doing something productive and valuable with my time. 


Example #5

The essay “College Pressures” written by William Zinsser discusses the college students’ struggle with an economic, parental, peer, and self-induced pressures. It emphasizes the importance of “being true to your hopes and dreams and not be the prisoner of expectations that aren’t the right ones for you.” The author’s purpose is not just to find ways to lessen the pressures college students suffer from, but to persuade students to find more joy in learning to rediscover their inquiring minds.

We have noticed several short student “notes” to “Carlos” (the Dean of Students). The author draws the reader’s attention to his essay using these short notes to establish his idea of college pressures. That also begins to set the author’s humorous tone of the essay and show his sympathy to the college students who are under great pressure.

Some of us believe that the author writes the essay from the college students’ point of view. It can found that in many sentences the author uses “we” as the subjects referring to the students. The author is privy to the students’ hopes and fears, and he understands what they want and what they are thinking about.

We can tell that the author is showing his sympathy and hopes. Several sentences can prove that.
“I wish them a chance to savor each segment of their education as an experience in itself and not as a grim preparation for the next step. I wish them” (Paragraph 6). “I tell them to relax. They can’t. Nor can I blame them.” (Paragraph 12-13).

“Poor students, poor parents.” However, others also argue that the author stands on an educator’s point of view. The author is not only giving suggestions to help the students to release from the pressures but also he is revealing the problems in the American education system and evaluation in universities. They have this evidence to support themselves. “The transcript has become a sacred document, the passport to security.


Example #6

I totally agree with William Zinsser on the four pressures working on college students. Just like in the 70s, college students of today face ‘economic pressure, parental pressure, peer pressure, and self-induced pressure’. I am also in agreement with Zinsser in his argument that ‘there are no villains, only victims’.

As this paper will show, the degree of pressure on college students tends to be higher now than it might have been in the 70s. Additionally, the prominence of the given sources of pressure has also shifted. It is hypothesized that while parental pressure was high in the 1970s, economic pressure and self-induced pressures have more prominence in the lives of college students today.

Just like in the past, getting a college degree or qualification remains a very expensive affair. Consequently, students are under pressure to pay fees and meet their educational obligations. Moreover, the economic terrain in our country and in most countries of the world has shifted. It is no longer the traditional workers who have money.

Rather, the creative and those who tap into technology make lots of money driving economies up and placing pressure on the underprivileged to think of how to improve their economic welfare. This implies that while college students in the 70s had to deal with economic pressures relating to the high cost of education, the current crop of college students have to deal with the high cost of education and pressure related to being creative or not being able to tap into a fast-shifting economy.

To make matters worse, recent economic slumps and credit meltdown related challenges only imply increased difficulty in accessing credit facilities. Government support for students has relatively expanded since the 1970s but pressures the economy make government interventions largely wanting. Jobs are hard to come by and as unemployment bites, fees related complications are compounded.

Although parental pressure on children has been decreasing over the years, parental pressure on students still remains. Parents expect value for money spent on children’s education. They want children to work hard and meet the given minimum educational standards and requirements. Parents expect students to undertake certain majors. All these expectations exert considerable pressure on college students.

However, present-day parents are more liberal in their attitudes compared to their 1970’s compatriots. Students are expected to exercise their free will and be more responsible for their own success in life. Factors such as changes in how the economy runs, best-paying jobs, how to succeed in life, and beliefs about wealth creation have contributed a lot towards lowering parental pressure on college students.

Peer pressure remains an important aspect of a college student’s life. Peer pressure is very high in our highly consumption-driven economy. The masters of consumerism are always producing new gadgets and goods with an appeal to college students. Students are under pressure to match their peers in terms of what gadgets they have or own.

Most crucially, competition among college students has transformed from a focus on academic excellence or college activities to exploits in the world of trade and even sport in the world arena. There are so many young billionaires and millionaires around. There are so many young achievers in our world today. This has an influence on individual college students in terms of what they do with themselves.

Coupled with increasingly liberalist attitudes, college students have a great influence on each other in terms of how they live their lives. Peer approval plays a more critical role in determining what is considered right or wrong among college students of today than was the case in the 1970s. Parents of today tend to be liberals and even where the exhibit rigid traditional attitudes, students are more rebellious towards traditional values and principles.

Finally, the pressures and challenges in the world of today and numerous and very diverse. The world of today is a fast-changing reality where nothing is given. The things and processes that traditionally worked no longer work. Globalization has opened new frontiers and also opened a Pandora’s Box of challenges. In such circumstances, each individual college student is personally much challenged. A key question for the youth of today is how to make quick Buicks or get rich very quickly.

Anchored on information technology, quite a number of young people have made it big. The idea that traditional ways of life no longer work has also provided the impetus. Consequently, personal or self-induced pressure is very high for present-day college students. While students in the 1970s were under pressure to get good grades, college students of today have high self-induced pressure geared towards creativity and building systems to tap into opportunities in society.

From the foregoing discussions, it is clear that the pressures students of the 1970s endured are the same as those faced by students of today. However, the prominence of pressures like parental pressure has waned while self-induced pressures have gained prominence. Additionally, changing socioeconomic circumstances have transformed the expression of or how the different pressures register.


Example #7

In the United States, college is a journey that can teach students some of the most important lessons that they will carry throughout their lives. Author William Zinsser writes in his essay “ College Pressures ” that students can face a wide variety of pressures like parental, economical to even the most common type, self-induced pressure. Although college is supposed to help students develop as individual people, they are placed into an environment that is extremely competitive when it comes to overall grades.

This creates students that torture themselves over the grade places on their transcript and can increase the need for some students to look for an escape. Also, this type of self-induced pressure can lead a student to make negative health choices. With these ingredients mixed together, self-induced college pressures can influence students to make bad decisions. The overwhelming self-induced pressure to get good grades affects students in a way that they make choices that negatively impact their health and well being.

Zinsser states, “long gone are the days of a “gentleman’s C” ‘. Nowadays, students think that getting a “C” is equivalent to failing. Not only do they want to succeed but this pressure has caused some students to look for a way to gain an edge by using illegal prescription drugs that allow them to study for hours on end. Ritalin is one of the most common drugs used to gain this advantage. Vitamin “K” as it’s called is a drug that increases alertness and concentration in people with attention deficit disorder when it’s prescribed by a doctor.

There is an alarming and increasing trend in the use of this drug across college campuses in the United States. According to the professor and researcher Allan Desantis of the University of Kentucky, forty-five percent of students interviewed at that campus stated that they use or have used Ritalin without a prescription to study long hours before a test. The long term affects, as stated by Allen Desantis, can lead to irregular heartbeat, cardiac arrhythmia, and psychosis.

This type of illegal use of Ritalin is dangerous not only due to its health affects but it gives a false edge that can lead students to be dependent on its use even when they get into the public workforce. The pressure students face from their studies demands an escape from time to time. For most students, this escape is found in socializing. Zinsser states “. . . they (students) are no introverts”. College life demands that students be social beings. What a better place than a university or college campus!

For most students, college is the first time they are away from home or the first time they are left to make their own decision in the real world. This type of absence of authority gives students a false sense of freedom to do as they like. When the stress from their studies starts to build up, alcohol is one of the easiest drugs to use as an escape. It is very rare that you find a college party with no alcohol thus students are more likely to drink when socializing.

According to the Core Institute, seventy percent of college students between the ages of eighteen and twenty-four have reported being binge drinkers. Since there is no type of authority present, the exercise of self-control when it comes to drinking can be very minimal and leads to this excessive use of alcohol. Heavy drinking causes students better judgment to be impaired. In California alone, 1,825 students were injured in 2013 from traffic-related accidents according to the national highway traffic safety association.

Students need to be educated about the dangers of alcohol. For most students, college can be some of the most memorable times in their lives. The self-induced pressures that they create can ruin this by influencing them to make bad decisions. Not only do students over worry about their grade but they are forced by this worry and stress to look for an escape. Alcohol and prescription drugs are some of the dangerous remedies they turn to for relief. There need to be some type of education that teaches them about the dangers of using these drugs.


Example #8 – interesting ideas

College pressures…William Zinsser. This very interesting. Perhaps can make advice: 1. Read a glorious essay. 2. Set glorious activity.

* Glorious Activity.

Suggest to ask all student write two (2) example regard….each pressure category:

  • economic pressure.
  • parental pressure.
  • peer pressure.
  • self-induced pressure.

WOW. My parents are being over-the-top annoying as I’m beginning to apply to colleges. They’re making me apply to UC Berkely, UCLA, Georgetown, Yale, and finally my personal choice, the University of Montana (and they’re barely letting me do that).

First of all, there’s no way im going to get into those first 4 colleges with my 3.2 GPA, second of all, they’re completely ignoring the fact that my first and, really, the only choice is UM. How am I supposed to deal with this? If I tell them to stop, they’ll get pissed. Should I just ignore them, fill out the applications anyway, and pretend to look shocked when the rejection letters start coming?

Contrary to what many teenagers think, parents usually know a lot more than you do. In many cases, they know a lot more than your school counselors too. (I’ll get thumbs down for that because all teenagers know they already know everything )

Why fight over this? It’s not like they’re telling you that you can only apply to the local college. What if you get accepted to one of those, are you going to pick Montana over Yale or Berkeley?

Of course, if you’re willing to pay the bill yourself then you can go anywhere you want to. That’s the best way to get your way. And it makes everything for those years of college easier for you too. So just pay your own way and you can do whatever you want to. Your parents probably still have better ideas though.

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