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College Pressures and Their Consequences

Autor:   •  September 26, 2012  •  Essay  •  957 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,304 Views

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College Pressures and Their Consequences

Many people believe that college students have a carefree lifestyle of partying, but college life is full of stress. After I read the articles “College Pressures” by William Zinsser and “The Dog Ate My Disk and Other Tales of Woe” by Carol Foster Segal, I felt that both authors presented compelling arguments that could change any reader’s idea of college life. In “College Pressures,” Zinsser describes the burdens college students face while in school. In “The Dog Ate My Disk and Other Tales of Woe,” Segal uses stories that describe the excuses students give for late work. Furthermore, Segal addresses the fact that the excuses begin to sound very much alike and more unbelievable each time she hears them. Although, Zinsser’s and Segal’s articles have similarities discussing the topic of college related stresses, they differ in many ways. This essay will analyze and compare both Zinsser’s and Segal’s arguments on why college life is so stressful and how they are analogous and contrasting at the same time.

Zinsser and Segal offer different claims in their articles but they both categorize to support their claims. Zinsser’s claims in is his article “College Pressures” that there are four pressures that influence college students: economic, parental, peer, and self-induced pressure. He further explains these pressures and how they are intertwined with each other. In Segal’s article “The Dog Ate My Disk and Other Tales of Woe,” she creates five categories for the excuses that her students give her. These categories are: “the Family”, “the Best Friend”, “the Evils of Dorm Life”,” the Evils of Technology”, and “the Totally Bizarre”. The excuses Segal categorizes could be almost directly associated with the four pressures Zinsser lists because the excuses may very well be products of said pressures.

In both articles, Zinsser and Segal are credible in their claims on account that they are both professors and have firsthand experience with college students. However, Zinsser offers more of a variety of evidence to support his claim. Zinsser uses facts, numbers, personal observations, other dean’s experiences, and experiences of students in supporting his claim. For example, Zinsser uses facts to explain how economic pressure effects students by stating that “Tuition, room and board at most private colleges now comes to at least $7,000, not counting books and fees” (Zinsser 464). Moreover, Zinsser paints a vivid picture of how economic and parental pressures are intertwined using his own personal observation. Zinsser says “I see many students taking pre-medical courses with joyless tenacity.” (Zinsser 465) Furthermore, he explains that students feel obligated to pursue a career that their parents want them to because their parents are paying so much money for their college education. Zinsser also

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