College is just awesome, right? Sure, yes, actually, it is pretty great. But why? Um, just ’cause?
A cinematic tradition started perhaps when Jon Belushi started screaming, “Toga! Toga! Toga!” and lived on through Van Wilder and others has brainwashed us to believe that college is, for not particularly well-explained reasons, simply awesome. After three and a half years of testing the waters, I’ll agree – many things about college are fairly terrific. Next year, I’ll probably even miss them. Though the “what are you grateful for” spirit of Thanksgiving and the holidays passed a few months ago, I’ve taken the time to brainstorm now about some of the things that make you say, “damn, I got it good.”
1. Proximity to everything: Oh, I’m sorry, did you say you had a twenty minute walk to class? I oft bemoaned a 10 a.m class I had in the far away engineering quad, and, on occasion, even griped about the two-block walk to the pizza place. Though I hate to admit this one, I have even stayed in on a cold evening because I thought it too far to walk to the bar. The bar is about 200 feet away. After college, I certainly anticipate multiple subway transfers at far earlier than 10 a.m., and not having all my friends live in a five block radius might also take some unfortunate getting used to.
2. Sleep time: Yeah, you stayed out until 4 a.m. the other night. It was wild, eh? Did you occasionally have to wake up for class early? Usually there’s time to catch up, though. Even after a three-day all-nighter, which is bound to happen at some point, there’s usually time to wind down sooner or later.
3. Free stuff: Movies, of course, depict free-flowing kegs of beer and shots aplenty. It’s true: scoring free beverages is not tough to do on a college campus. But there’s way more cashless items to be had. Food, for example! Most club meetings/fraternity rush events/random programs your college probably puts on tend to offer food as an incentive to attract people. And though it won’t make it free, student discounts tend to make things pretty cheap.
4. The Social Routine: Tuesday night live-music at the campus bar, 50 cent drinks at that other place on Thursdays, your sorority meets on Wednesdays and then you all go out…whatever it is, every campus tends to have its built-in weekly routine, highlighted by annual events everyone looks forward to. After four years, the novelty can wear off and things can start to get monotonous, but knowing you hardly have to make plans can be a pretty sweet security blanket.
5. The Rapid Pace of Everything: In a semester, you’ve mastered (or failed at) the art of Introductory Macroeconomics. Congratulations, you can close that textbook now. You hooked up with a guy Tuesday night. Congratulations, you’re probably going to bump into him again, whether you like it or not, before Friday. In real life, people live far away, it takes years to climb corporate ladders and more time to make relationships work. As a result, the college version of everything can feel rushed, but it’s always on to the new.