Just imagine. An opportunity to explore topics typically ignored in the average class, to adventure to places you would never think to go or to delve more deeply into your major than you ever thought possible. A novel concept, advertising genius—the Guilford Edge sounds like the college dream.
Unfortunately, many of you no longer have to imagine. The first three-week course has been over with for months, and registration for the second is nearly over.
The large variety of class options has elicited a large variety of reviews. Some say the course was enlightening, easy or intriguing. Others complain about the rigor which distracts from work and mental health. I have a bone to pick with both.
Although lovely in concept, the Guilford Edge has simply failed to educate. The experience was surely valuable to many, but at what cost?
While Guilford is a liberal arts college, and seeks to provide an integrated education experience, the Edge has taken that goal one step too far. Classes are catered extremely specifically, or a standard class is crammed into three weeks of time. In the meantime, students try to work, maintain their mental health and get a quality education from Guilford.
To those who claim their class was easy, I ask, what is the point? A college education is not cheap. Why would anyone want to pay to learn little, or at least not a whole 15-week class worth? To anyone who believes their class was easy and maintained a high value of education, do you truly think that course could have stretched out for fifteen weeks with the same amount of content?
To those who complain about the rigor of your class, what did you expect? Fifteen weeks of content crammed into three. In concept, the class should be incredibly rigorous, if one expects a college-level education. The course should be designed such that working or doing extracurriculars or sleeping properly merely cannot all be done.
With the Guilford Edge, no one wins. Either students don’t get their money’s worth or they don’t have the time to make said money, let alone do anything else. In the case of a few classes, some were lucky enough to experience both.
Not to mention the incredible variety of classes offered, including the ever-useful ADHD/African American Children, Murder, Most Foul, and my favorite, from the scrapped fall 2019 courses, Organic Farming in Kenya—held at Guilford. While perhaps interesting to a small minority, these courses likely hold little to no significance in the lives, or future jobs, of most any Guilford students.
These classes may help students fulfill their graduation requirements, but likely will not help anyone get a career. Unfortunately, many forget that the main goal of college is not just to have fun, but to come out of it with a degree, knowledge and experience useful for the rest of one’s life.
Having experienced the trial run of the Edge this fall, many students struggled to sign up for the spring session. Most students I talked to or overheard talked about their “three classes” they had to sign up for, the “three classes” they had to narrow down to.
The Edge, rather than adding onto the college experience, took away from the typical four classes, leaving students wondering which classes to leave for later semesters and which were imperative to their track. The classes offered in the Edge were not the classes most students were looking for. As such, the three-week course felt, and still feels, like a wasted class.
The Guilford Edge can pretend to be a new and improved college experience. In actuality, it takes away from genuine learning by providing either too little education or too much stress via classes that no one really asked for. The traditional college schedule has been narrowed down to three classes a semester, with an additional waste of time and money smacked.