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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

One Tall Voice: Appreciate your college experience

Published: October 19, 2007
Section: Opinions

Every college kid, during the course of their collegiate career, has questioned their attendance at a university. I am sure that all students have wondered why they are wasting four years of their lives, laboriously poring over useless information, and going through the motions of the educational enterprise. I too have had these sentiments. This is one of the least societally productive parts of our lives. We are left to ripen on the vine and not make anything of ourselves while we use the scholarship money or parental funds delegated to us. Still, one has to analyze this topic from a different angle and realize the benefits of having a university education. Though we are not actively producing anything of importance, our heads are being filled with wisdom and our lives forever changed. Though these four years may seem unproductive, they are in fact the most important times of our lives as we learn valuable lessons both in and out of the classroom. College kids have always had the sentiment that higher education is just a big waste of time, but further analysis will yield different conclusions.

What are we doing here? Seriously, what are we actually achieving with our lives by restricting our studies to unimportant topics, busying ourselves with mind numbing work, and playing the game of school? I am adamant that someone could achieve this same university education by themselves simply by reading the New York Times or following their own course of study.

In addition, it seems ridiculous that we must spend the youthful years of our lives stressed out, memorizing our lines, and doing a number of other things that dont directly create or add to society. Four years of our lives. Four years that we are never going to get back. Sure, people can say that these are the best four years of our lives, but hey, they certainly dont say that because of the capacity we have to learn in this time. If you want to party, its possible without college;

if you want to have a good time, its certainly more achievable without the stress of a university education. Sometimes its just frustrating to sit here and memorize some information about ancient art when I could be doing a million more productive things out in the real world.

Still, it doesnt take much to see the benefits of going to college. Its not just about getting a degree to land a good job, or meet people that will give you connections in life. It is also about the experiences that you receive, not just in the classroom, but surrounded by the collegiate environment as well. Never again in our lives will we be given the opportunity to be surrounded by such diversity of opinion in an academic setting. Never again in our existence will we be able to experience, experiment, learn our boundaries, and establish ourselves in a manner that will make us better people.

At college, we are able to not only partake in academic learning, but also are able to participate in a number of organizations and causes as well. We can explore new avenues, engage in riveting conversations, meet amazing new people, and have a number of other experiences as well. The collegiate experience is not just valuable for the educational enterprise, but also for a number of other reasons. It is a life-shaping time where you can go beyond their boundaries and establish themselves for the rest of their lives.

With all of the stress, the seemingly useless subject material and other attributes, it may seem useless to attend a university. Sure, an education is necessary to get a good job, but what are we really learning?

Still, there are other things about the collegiate experience that make it worthwhile. Never again in our lives will we be given the chance to explore and experience. Never again will we have the unique freedom that being college kids affords us. So as you busy yourself with midterms or an ungodly number of papers, just remember that its a small price to pay. The experiences and adventure of the collegiate enterprise are well worth your while.