Is there a so called ‘College Experience?’

Most parents and students would say that the answer is yes. The ‘College Experience’ can be defined as challenging yourself and making new friends while in college. By participating in Greek life and other activities, students meet those who have similar interests and socialize.

The “College Experience” is not just about making new friends and important self-discoveries; a lot of college students around the country partake in binge drinking and hooking up.

Drinking on weekends and the collegiate hookup culture are seen as the reasons why the “College Experience” ruins university education. Partying on weekends prevents students from focusing on their school work which inhibits them from learning in the classroom and earning the best grades.

While the argument above is compelling, such a myth simply does not ruin university education because the ‘College Experience’ enhances it.

Going to college is a person’s last chance to learn and grow before they enter the real world. At college, students have the opportunity to learn valuable knowledge through the education system, which primarily focuses on learning in the classroom. However, much is learned outside the classroom and beyond its confines. This knowledge comes in all shapes and sizes, and through many mediums, specifically the “College Experience”.

While drinking on the weekends is fun, college teaches young people the importance of maintaining a healthy balance between studying and going out. The lessons of how to balance a social life with the responsibilities of [school] work are timeless. College also teaches young people how to scan through long and tedious readings while not missing out on vital information.

Over ninety percent of students at Georgetown have said that they have held at least one internship prior to graduating, this shows that there’s a major difference between learning about the New York Stock Exchange and working on Wall Street. An internship shows that you not only have knowledge on a particular subject, but experience in that field. A lecture or seminar can highlight and focus on the meaning of friendship and loyalty, but experiencing it firsthand will teach you much more.

The most important aspect of the “College Experience” is coming to terms with who you are and the person you want to be. Throughout our four years on the Hilltop, we will constantly be working towards an answer. This answer can be found on M Street, the Potomac River, or even Healy Hall. In order to educate the whole person, we all need to undergo our own ‘College Experience.’

After graduating from college, many find themselves working and living in the real world. They have rent and tuition loans to pay off, and they work full time. They have embraced their adulthood and the responsibility that comes with it. Unlike high school, college prepares us for what the real world entails. Many life lessons are not taught in the classroom, yet they are learned through the myth of the ‘College Experience.’ These life lessons are not found in the university education system, but are necessary for students to learn while attending college.

While there may be negative aspects of the ‘College Experience,’ all students are in control of their choices. They can pick which aspects of the “College Experience” they want to partake in, and which they want to avoid. If the “College Experience” was as detrimental as described, then millions of students would not be able to graduate, and the university education system would be utterly ruined.

Instead, every year, millions of college students graduate on time and earn their degrees ready to hit the ground running.

 

Jeff Naft is a sophomore in the College. Resolved appears every other Wednesday at thehoya.com. Join the Philodemic Society this Thursday at 8 p.m. in Healy 208 as they debate “Resolved: The myth of the ‘College Experience’ ruins university education.”

 

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