As this blog post hits the Internet, I’m moving myself into my dorm room for my third year of college. It's incredibly exciting, and in preparation I’ve been listening recently to Asher Roth’s “I Love College” (because I really do love it). However, I found myself kind of disappointed in the song's exclusive focus on parties, alcohol, and drugs. Parties in college are awesome of course, and the freedom to indulge in less-than-legal activities is part of what makes college so much fun. But there are other things besides wild Friday nights that make college an amazing experience, and it’s worth talking about some of these things. So, in honor of the approaching school year, here are five awesome things about college that have nothing to do with parties.
1. People who do what you do, no matter what it is you do- We all have interests, some of which are more mainstream than others. In college, anything goes and anyone can find a group that shares their interests, even if those interests are as obscure as concrete canoes, people watching, or poorly sung a Capella. And better yet- if you can’t find the perfect group for you, pretty much any college will allow you to start your own.
2. Living with other people- This one may seem a bit counterintuitive. After all, we’ve all heard Freshman year roommate horror stories, and being thrust into living with strangers you've never met before is an intimidating prospect. However, actually living with other human beings is both a skill we all need to learn, and the people we love with in college often end up being some of our closest friends for the rest of our lives.
3. Making friends is a sponsored activity- No institution in the world funnels more money into making friends than the average university. Social events thrown or funded by the college are absolutely rampant on campus, and the administrations are often genuinely committed to you fostering relationships with your peers.
4. Classes on really specific, crazy stuff- Want to study the history of surfing? How to make Animal sounds? The culture of the Adriatic Basin? Before college, you had to hope subjects like these would be given cursory attention in a generic history or science or English class. In college, though, classes exist on the most obscure and precise of topics, which means that all your weird and wacky curiosities are fair game for intense and thorough study.
5. The energy- College campuses have a vibe about them that no other place in the world can match. It’s intoxicating: so many people all reasonably close in age, all united by the desire to learn, and all coming into adulthood and striking out on their own for the first time. It’s an electric feeling that no other place can even approach, and it's one of the most important things that gives college campuses their electric feel.
College is, quite simply, unique. No other institution can match its incredible opportunities for self-expression, growth, and just plain fun. Needless to say, I'm happy to be back.
With Excitement and Optimism,