I Came Here To…

By Amari D. Pollard

College. It presents itself as many things to many different people. To some, its seen as an opportunity to grow up and achieve academic excellence. For others, its a chance to discover who they are without the constant influence of their parents. And there are also those that see college as one big party destined to be conquered.

College is essentially the first time when people are packed into a kept area with no one hounding them to get their work done or giving them a curfew. You’re “free” in a sense. But it’s also the last time that that freedom will be so attainable, because after college the real world takes hold immediately and you’re forced to grow up. Many students are advised to take advantage of their time, which can be interpreted as, “Party as much as possible.”

Leaving high school was probably the easiest and most exciting thing I’ve ever done. I couldn’t wait to get out of there, like many other students, and graduate onto bigger and better things. I was bored of being in a place where partying and superficial drama were the most important things to my peers. I wanted to be surrounded by like-minded people, to be surrounded by ambitious people focused on their goals. Even though I find the latter to be true in some cases since entering college, I have to admit that I have been surprised by the amount of students more dedicated to their social lives than their academic ones.

I understand that you can’t expect people to merely focus on their school work and forget about socializing because it can be argued that personal development is just as important as educational development, but there is a certain extent to which those matters should be of importance.

Too many times have I seen people stumbling into and through my residence hall during the week or walked into my dorm room to see people watching a movie while their school work remains untouched on the desk. What I find funny about all of that is those are the same people who complain about getting sixties on their tests, as if it comes as a surprise. My dad always told me that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing continuously and expecting different results.

In today’s society with a recovering economy and unsatisfactory employment rates, its not enough to just graduate college anymore.  It sounds harsh but average isn’t acceptable. Excellence is constantly required and, when it comes to college excellence, that attribute is hard to attain with a low GPA.

Even though college serves many purposes and is a great opportunity to socialize with new people and experience new things, there should be an understanding amongst students. That while college is meant to shape students through new experiences, its main job is to educate the student population, to provide students with the knowledge needed to make them active participants in society.

I get that there are students looking to enjoy themselves during the week and weekends by partying and socializing and shopping, but those who do that constantly are the ones who fail to get their full money’s worth of an expensive college education.

It’s okay to refuse a drink or deny an invitation to hang out with friends and study instead, because in the end we should all really know what we came to college for. We came here to achieve excellence. We came here to acquire that degree. We came here to make something of ourselves and of our futures.

Picture courtesy of http://www.sce.edu



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