The Real College Experience?

I find it aggravating that the idea of a college experience has drifted so far from what it should be. High school students (for the most part) are only concerned with going to the school with the most outrageous parties. The amount of drinking said to take place at certain universities takes precedence over what kind of programs the school provides for the intended major of the student. So when a high schooler claims a university that fosters a friendly environment for learning is not a real college because there is little to no partying, I cringe.

The sole purpose of college and going to college is to get a degree and to make oneself a more rounded individual. Over the years it has become about leaving home and learning how to live on your own. This is fine as well. College is supposed to be an institution of learning. This doesn’t necessarily imply just book learning. Therefore, it’s good for young adults to get a taste of the real life. However, now, more than ever, students are not concerned with either of those things. As mentioned earlier, it’s all about the drinking, going out and partying.

Am I saying college students should spend their whole college experience with their nose in a book? By no means, no. College is the time when you’re supposed to find yourself. That means you’re going to go out and have some fun. You should take advantage of all the activities available on your campus. Meet new people and explore different hobbies. I think this is great, but never forget that your main concern in college is to get an education.

Furthermore, many of the people who go to college with their main focus on partying, end up staying in college longer. This means more expenses, particularly loans. More loans mean getting to enjoy less of your paycheck when you finally land that job you’ve always wanted. Then, instead of being able to move out of your parents’ home and have money to really enjoy yourself, you’re stuck wondering why you took out so much money to party in a ten by ten room for four or more years.

If there is any one thing I want high schoolers to take from this brief rant, is that they should look for a college that meets their educational needs, a college that provides the best program for their major, and a school that meets their budget. In the long run, it will pay off, and when some of my peers are reminiscing about their wild college days, I’ll be baking in the sun in Bora Bora with the extra money I saved. Well, at least I’ll have a greater chance.

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