June 29, 2011
Real Life College Student Blog: Why College?
Today’s Real Life College Student Blog comes from Utah college student, Cole Spicker. He currently studies Chemistry and Spanish and really enjoys reading, good food and great friends. Cole admits he’s a little “obsessed with education” and hopes to make lasting, positive contributions to society. In his last two articles, Cole outlined some great ways to conquer college procrastination. This week, Cole offers his first-hand insight as a college student about the reasons why we attend college and the benefits of going to college. Enjoy!
What is the purpose of college? Why do so many people–professors, deans, provosts, and other faculty–desire to claim their career at a college? What makes students fork out big dollars for four years? Why college? The reasons vary, but I certainly hope that you have a lot more things on your mind than just football as you make your way in the university atmosphere.
Academe, n.: An ancient school where morality and philosophy were taught. Academy, n.: A modern school where football is taught.
As you begin (or continue) your collegiate career, it can be easy to get lost in the seemingly daunting complexities of college life. The list is long; worries regarding finances, housing, books, schedules, location of classrooms, roommates, relationships with professors, juggling a full- or part-time job while being a full- or part-time student, time to dedicated to homework, and perhaps, if you’re lucky, a significant other.
All of these issues can make college life a difficult life. So, why would you willingly put yourself in such a conundrum? What makes you want to go to college? What are your expectations of college?
To those that hope to make more money after graduating from college:
Extra padding in your wallet is a nice thing (unless it be the padding that’s made up of wadded tissues) and you know that you can obtain that extra padding. It seems that you’re on the right track. You probably have heard that college grads will typically earn $1 million more throughout their lifetime than non-grads. Just remember to keep your Alma Mater in your heart and mind after you’re making the big bucks. Many people (many more than you might recognize) have invested in your upbringing and education. Be sure to bear in mind this sensational simile: “Money is like manure; it’s not worth a thing unless it’s spread around encouraging young things to grow.”
To those who desire a good challenge:
Excellent! You’re on the right path, too! Take a wide variety of classes and don’t be afraid to take some time deciding your major. If you have a clear-cut path, move forward. You should a recent blog written by my friend Zach about developing good relationships with your professors. If you can show them your determination, they will most certainly help you. And, oh, the opportunities! Take advantage of student clubs and organizations, undergraduate research opportunities, the Honors program; there are so many ways to get involved and enrich your experience at college.
To those who see the pinnacle of university life as a piece of paper … the diploma:
Booooo! No fun, whatsoever. Sure, the diploma will help you win that 6-digit paycheck, but what about other, precious opportunities that only a college setting can provide? You can join an intramural team to relieve some of that perpetual stress (don’t worry, some day it has got to go away!), or you can find faithful friends via various organizations on campus, or get involved through a myriad of activities. You know that studies upon studies show that involved students–those that really try to make a difference–usually have higher grades anyways. Be the person that cares about others and yourself (in a not-too-selfish way). I am in no way devaluing what it means to have a degree … that is nearly priceless. Just loosen up a bit and have fun while you’re creating the foundation of your future!
To those who go because it’s expected or have nothing better to do:
I refer you to the previous paragraph. Simple as that. Booooo!
To those who want to develop close friendships with peers and see college as a fantastic networking opportunity:
Spot on! High school friends come and go, but my greatest relationships have been formed while studying at college. My list of friends is not limited to solely my peers, but to teachers, faculty, and mentors as well. I feel that I have been really fortunate to have developed such important and lasting friendships such as these. They know me and what I want to do with my life well. Someone always seems to drop a line and tell me of an interesting opportunity–an internship, a study abroad experience, and so forth. Really, what great friends I have and I hope that every college student bears the future in mind when working alongside his or her peers and professors; they certainly can and will open doors for you.
These are just a few of my ideas of what drives students to go to college. If you have another, please tell me! I’d love to hear about your experiences and how you managed them. See you at graduation!
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