College Pressures Zinsser Analysis

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In his essay “College Pressures”, William Zinsser discusses the pressures that college students faced in the 1970’s. He starts by stating that there are four kinds of pressure that a student can face; the economic pressure, the parental pressure, the peer pressure and the self-induced pressure. He also explains how students shouldn’t worry too much about their future and that’s there is not a “right” way to get ahead. He explains how pressure can affect them negatively by using his professional experience and the expertise of other professionals. First of all, Zinsser demonstrates the effects of pressure on students with his experience as the master of Branford College. He starts by stating that the “know[s] the students well” and that “they come to [him] to ask how to get through the rest of their lives.”…show more content…
He acts as a counselor for his students and sees the pressure they put on themselves. He tries to give them speeches of freedom and hope but the students want a “map” (Zinsser 2). The students want a perfect plan for their lives, they desire security. Zinsser, on the other hand, wishes “them the right to experiment, to trip and fall, to learn that defeat is as instructive as victory.” (Zinsser 2). But, as Zinsser explains, America’s society doesn’t allow you to fail. This is the reason why “the young are growing up old.” (Zinsser 2). During his career, Zinsser realized that they were “four kinds of pressure working on college students” (Zinsser 2). He recognizes economic, parental, peer and self-induced pressure as the four kinds of pressure, making there be “no villains, only victims.” (Zinsser 2). As an example of parental pressure, Zinsser tells the story of many students who go to medical school to please their parents. Students feel obligated because their “parents want [them] to be a doctor” and they are “paying all this money”
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