Professor against University Social Life Criticized

Category: Education/Family


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. freshman / ˈfrɛʃ mən / (n) – a student who is in the first year of school

    I got lost at my university when I was a freshman in college.

  2. give (one’s) best / gɪv bɛst / (idiom) – to do a task very well

    Sarah will give her best to pass the test.

  3. academics / ˌæk əˈdɛm ɪks / (n) – education

    The school wants the students to focus more on academics than on their extra-curricular activities.

  4. thorough / ˈθɜr oʊ / (adj) – very detailed

    The contestants have undergone a thorough screening process before they got in the contest.

  5. have what it takes / hæv ʰwʌt ɪt teɪks / (idiom) – to have the skills to do something

    They are smart so they have what it takes to top the exam.


Read the text below.

A Cambridge University professor got criticized after sending an e-mail warning students that drinking and partying will negatively affect their studies.

Professor Eugene Terentjev, the director of studies at Queen’s College, Cambridge, sent the e-mail to Natural Sciences freshmen after hearing rumors that more students have been playing various drinking games. He stated in the e-mail that the university’s curriculum is extremely difficult and it needs all the focus that the students can give. Thus, he stressed that enjoying social life too much will stop them from giving their best in their studies.

The e-mail was then posted in the university’s online student page where it received varied reactions. A graduating student agreed that the course is hard, but a balance in academics and social life should still be observed.

The university’s mental health awareness student group, Student Minds, also responded, saying that studying too much may be harmful and is not the only key to success. Moreover, a university representative said that the students have undergone thorough screening upon entering the university, proving that they have what it takes to succeed in their studies.

According to an article released by the National Association of School Psychologists, good social skills should be encouraged in schools. It claims that having good social skills can promote a positive and safe school environment. It also reduces stress and prepares students for any difficult situations. On the other hand, lack of social skills may lead to peer rejection, resulting in violence and poor school performance.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

• Do you think it’s appropriate for professors to have opinions about their students’ social life? Why or why not?
• Do you agree that students’ grades can suffer because of their social life? Discuss.

Discussion B

• What are other reasons why it is important to have a social life?
• How can students balance their studies and social life?