University life is causing unnecessary stress

Representatives for the University of Minnesota’s Disability Resources Center recently announced that the number of students seeking treatment for mental health issues has increased significantly in recent years. One of the main contributors could be stress.
 
 
While the University does provide helpful student services for mental health, I would argue that some significant factors causing student stress are the fault of the University and some of its faculty. 
 
 
I would like to share some of my experiences as a former electrical engineering undergraduate at the University. 
 
 
Please note that the reason for my specificity is because I have not conducted surveys between different departments of the University. I can only share my experience and the experiences of a few other individuals with whom I have talked. 
 
 
I would, however, expect my experiences would be similar for students who are pursuing a science or engineering degree.
 
 
When applying to the University, I specified my intended major to be electrical engineering. I was accepted into the College of Liberal Arts, not the College of Science and Engineering. I made a few phone calls and attended a few presentations at the University, which helped shed some light on the transfer process between CLA and CSE. 
 
 
One showed that applying with a technical GPA of 2.3 or higher (meaning the GPA only counts science, math or engineering-related courses) basically guarantees your entry into CSE. 
 
 
But when it was time for me to apply, I learned many students had to have at least a technical 3.0 GPA or higher. I had a technical GPA of around 2.8 at the time. 
 
 
I brought this concern up to my counselor. Her response was, “Maybe you should try computer science.”
 
 
Early on in my college experience, I took Physics I. I will never forget one particular interaction between a student and the professor. The student told the professor she would not be able to make the midterm because of a funeral for a family member. She asked what she could do about the midterm. 
 
 
The professor looked very oddly back at her and shrugged his shoulders. I felt bad for her — you are torn between staying close to family and risking a lower grade or ignoring family issues and sticking to the class regimen. 
 
Dallas Wilm
University student
 
The second half of this letter will appear Wednesday