Making the Most

By ALEXANDRA SMITH

Staff Writer

College. One word that is so many things in one. 

It’s a place, somewhere that some invest in hoping for a return beyond that which was spent. 

It’s a lifestyle; a few years when we are broke, cheap, and trying to figure out the rest of our lives. 

It’s an emotion. For some, it is carefree and fun, and for others stressful and tiresome. 

No matter what it is to you, you are here. This is what you have chosen, but what is college supposed to be? 

I think that all of us question that up until the day that we graduate, and maybe it is questioned after that too. What is this experience supposed to be? How do we choose the rest of our lives in four short years? 

Some think that college is about “living it up” and partying all of the time. They would argue that in college you have four short years before you have to grow up, get a job and live in a reality that can be harsh and unforgiving. 

Others think that college is time to buckle down and really focus on the future. They say that it is important to decide what you want to do and start internships and job applications in this field. 

My aunt lent me some insight into this dilemma and showed me that the answer will depend on the person and where he or she is in life. 

She said, “I’ll have to confess that I wasn’t really worried about what I could translate that into in the real world. I was just experiencing college. And it was an experience!” 

All of this changed when she went back to college to get her teaching degree. 

“I went back to school with a purpose, and my grades showed it. Going to college as a day student was very different from living on campus. 

“I’m glad that I had both experiences because I think it helped me to understand that there was not just one way to get an education and that you should never give up and decide that it is not possible,” she said. 

Your lifestyle, socioeconomic background, and many other things can help mold how four years is spent in college. How do we find a middle ground between the last years that we can “live it up” and the first years of our new reality? What should this time be for all of us? 

My advice is to enjoy these four years. Make them special. Keep your eyes on the future, but always remember to cherish the present.