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December 29, 2014 - Posted to Study
I was told that my college years were going to be the best years of my life. To be honest, when I was in college I often thought that this was a lie perpetuated by people who were old enough that sweet, sweet senility had begun to shield them from the realities of life as a college student. Even today, I occasionally feel skeptical about the entire notion. This usually happens once a month, as I key in my student loan payment. Here's the truth though - it isn't a lie. College life really is the greatest time of life. So, here's to higher education and all of the blessings it bestows up on us. Having said all of that, here is a list of a dozen reasons explaining the awesomeness of the college experience.
- Diversity deserves first mention. There's simply no getting around it. I grew up in a large city with a diverse religious and ethnic population. I mistakenly believed that I would automatically fit in with my college peers. In one sense it was true. I certainly wasn't ostracized for my beliefs. On the other hand, it was a challenge to my balance. I encountered a diversity of ideas and socio-economic backgrounds that I hadn't experienced. This gave me an opportunity to expand my own personal horizons.
- One of my primary complaints during my college years was that I couldn't go out with my friends because I had to study. At the time it seemed like a valid complaint. Everyone knows that going out was way more fun than hitting the books! Now that I am out of school, I have come to realize that there is no place other than college where intellectual curiosity is nurtured and encouraged.
- Speaking of studying, I was fortunate enough to spend a semester in Belgium studying business management. I was able to do that and the cost was covered by a grant. My best friend spent a year doing biology research in the marshes of Louisiana. I would kill for that opportunity now, but the truth is the ability to immerse oneself into academic research is largely limited to college kids and those who purse academia.
Before things get too serious, I should mention that there is more to life in college than studying. There are four other aspects of college life that I have considered as I compiled this list. These are social life, the opportunity to participate in what will become a cautionary tale, and making lifelong friendships. The remainder of this list relates to these things.
- The college campus never sleeps. I don't care if it's three o'clock in the morning, there is always something going on somewhere. It might be an impromptu game of Magic the Gathering in a dorm room across campus or an illicit game of dodgeball on an unlocked tennis court. There are no limits to the possibilities of expanding ones social life. Embrace it!
- Campus life is the first instruction I received on the value of social media. I learned that this is a great way to plan events, organize study groups, and even share documents and collaborate with others. Of course cat pictures are cool also!
- Every college student will be presented with the opportunity to do something that is at least a little bit naughty. My advice is go for it. The resulting memories are will last a life time. The obvious exceptions would be illegal activity and anything that would mess up entrance into graduate school or the work force.
- The beauty of participating in all of these extracurricular activities is the formation of friendships that will last forever. If that isn't an indication that the college years are some of the best years, I have no idea what is.
- College is a great place to increase creativity and ingenuity. Whether it's rigging up a system of alarms to ensure that you don't miss an early class or figuring how to network ten lap tops together for a night of World of Warcraft, these are troubleshooting skills that can be carried into adulthood.
- For better or for worse, my college years were the first years in my life in which I was treated like an adult. Unlike high school, college instructors genuinely wanted to know what I thought. They didn't constantly construct “straw men,” in order to tell their students how their thoughts and opinions were wrong and that the opinions of the faculty were always right.
- Life as a college student is a breeding ground for some of the most creative chefs I have ever encountered. Think you can't possibly make a tasty snack out of a can or corned beef hash, a jar of peanut butter, and a toaster? If it's three a.m., and the dining hall is closed, I bet you can.
- The college years are a great time to challenge what we've been told by our parents. Can we really live on Jello cups and Slim Jims? There's no better time or place than college to find out!
- Finally the most important benefit of college! Chances are you will meet at least one friend with whom you will maintain a truly close relationship for the rest of your life.
That's it. Twelve reasons to embrace the college experience and all of the friendships and memories that go along with it.