Concordia College is not special

emmaopinions“Ugh, my class is being taught by an adjunct from MSUM,” “Damn, I have so much homework. Life of a Cobber!” and just straight up, “MSUM and NDSU kids are stupid,” are all actual quotes that I’ve heard Concordia students say on multiple occasions. Apparently, highly educated professors from state schools can’t possibly educate as well as similarly educated professors from private schools. Apparently, MSUM and NDSU students don’t have homework. And, apparently, every single Concordia student has a higher IQ than his or her tri-college counterparts. Because everyone knows: the more expensive the school, the better the education.

Now, I’d like to bash all of these incredibly ignorant and impossibly rude stereotypes that many Concordia students hold to be true. First, let’s look at some stats. MSUM’s acceptance rate is approximately 8263%, NDSU’s is 86%, and Concordia’s is 78%.

More numbers! Concordia students’ average ACT composite scores are between 22 and 28, MSUM’s average is between 20 and 25, and NDSU’s is between 21 and 26. Interesting. These numbers look curiously similar.

This data doesn’t really prove anything about the quality of education one can receive at any of these three schools. I know that. But they do definitively tell us one thing: on average, Concordia students are not statistically significantly smarter than students at MSUM or NDSU. This is important to keep in mind. The only thing that truly sets us apart from the other two schools is our attitude about ourselves. And that attitude is a disgusting one.

There’s no doubt in my mind that Concordia College is objectively an amazing school and a great place to receive an education. But, Cobbers, we need to ditch this mindset of being our Protestant God’s gift to the land of higher education. We are not. We are not special. Sure, some Concordia students are smarter than some NDSU students. That statement can be said with literally any colleges taking the place of Concordia and NDSU. Some Concordia students are also a lot dumber than some NDSU students. We are not better than anyone. Get over yourselves, Cobbers. Your homework load isn’t obscenely more rigorous than any other school’s. In fact, our academic lives aren’t all that busy compared to numerous other students’ at other schools. Being a private school doesn’t make Concordia a better school, and it’s about time Concordia students internalize that fact.

By continuing to place ourselves higher on the totem pole than students at other schools, we are doing ourselves a disservice in the long run. We think a ring from an average-ranking Midwest school will get us a job. (This is a much bigger topic for a much different article.) Let’s remember that outside of the Midwest, your ring means nothing. Concordia means nothing. College means something. And graduates from NDSU and MSUM have that going for them too.

So, my pretentious peers, please do not disregard a professor because of the college that employs him or her. Please do not pity yourselves by thinking that you’re busier than everyone else. And, please, never assume yourself to be smarter than people you have never met simply because you go to a more expensive school than they do.

Okay, I know not every Concordia students thinks this way. But generalizations are good. As the wise William Ferrell would say, they’re “provocative. They get the people going.”

And with that, I leave your corn buttered.

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Emma Garton

Emma Garton ('19) is a senior studying Communications and Spanish. She is the Editor-in-Chief of The Concordian this year. In addition to working for the paper, Emma works in Concordia's IT department, interns at Absolute Marketing Group in Fargo, ND, and plays trumpet in the Concordia Band.

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3 Comments

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    I’ll agree fully. I attended Concordia for 4 years and there’s an amount of smug in the air. However, I also saw the same behavior at NDSU when it came to graduate school. Certain people always tout their self-assigned superiority, whether it’s a junior high student to a grammar school child or a CEO to an office grunt. It’s not right, but it’s not surprising any longer either.

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    I find this opinion not well founded. As a student who has been enrolled full time at both Concordia and one aforementioned state school I can tell you that Concordia is unequivocally harder, by in large has much more homework, and far and away has much higher quality professors. At *state school* GTA’s teach and grade most of my classes. Professors dont even know my name, much less care that I understand the material. Concordia is a teaching institution. The quality of education is higher. My professors at *state school* are quite lazy in comparison. The subject matter is less dense and is taught more on the surface level. Exams are basic and have not required me to have full advanced knowledge of subject material in the way that I had to at Concordia. If I am honest, my classmates also seem to be less intelligent and DEFINITELY care less about getting high marks. I honestly went through a bit of culture shock at my new school. I was not used to a majority of my peers being okay just scraping by getting C’s or D’s in order to just get the degree. The demographic of student is much different. This may not be captured by ACT scores as you state. Cobbers seem to be far more involved and much more apt to be go-getter types. My experience is anecdotal of course but I thought you should know that your opinion is not well founded. I am also a STEM major, so presumably my peers should be in the higher order of intellect. When I was at Concordia, I honestly didn’t like it that much. Now that I have been at another institution, I can tell you unequivocally that it IS special.

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      second this! We have a much heavier workload compared to students from state schools. My friends from NDSU would laugh at me when I say I need to go study (because if I don’t, who is going to write those 5 papers, 3 group projects, 2 presentations and prepare for a couple more tests coming a week after that) , and I sometimes still don’t get a A for classes. Meanwhile, NDSU students (my friends- same major) party all the time and still get A’s for their class. Their workload is much much much lighter.

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