Experiential learning is the buzzword you hear the most from within the ACU community whether that be from departments, administration or the marketing team.
ACU is advertised to be a small school with a tight knit community that provides more experience than any state school can and to some extent that is exactly right.
However, when everything about the campus revolves around experiential learning, students struggle with pressure to be constantly involved, face imminent challenges of burnout and exhaustion, and oftentimes feel like they need to pick and choose between experiences based on the priorities of their scholarships and departments.
To truly be able to say ACU’s campus is an experiential learning campus, there needs to be more emphasis on making those experiences more holistic.
In every corner of campus, students can find an organization or a group to belong to. Whether that be a sorority or fraternity, a club, departmental groups such as student media or theater, or the multitude of other choices available, there is no shortage of experiences available to students. There are so many things to do that it almost seems wrong that someone wouldn’t choose to or find a way to be involved. It’s normal at ACU to have one to two jobs, be an active member in one or two organizations, keep up with classes, and somehow also have a consistent social life.
When experiential learning takes priority over just general college experience, some things can, and will, slip through the cracks.
The pressure to be involved in multiple things at once for many people leads to burnout and exhaustion. Though this may not always be the case, there are enough students for which burnout is an issue that it warrants a discussion.
On top of all of this, students that are a part of departments that require high involvement may feel pressure from faculty and their peers to prioritize one job, organization or rehearsal over something else they may be more passionate about. When students are having to pick and choose between one thing they love and another, the whole structure of experiential learning breaks down.