Since my very first week as a university student, I have had to deal with the, as I refer to them, “stereotypical” college students. This term I use refers to the alarmingly high number of college students that exemplify everything that I believe is wrong with our so-called college experience. The most notable characteristic of these students is that they are here for the wrong reason — because of the idea that college equals party. In general, most every student who has gone into higher education for the social experience and not the academic one falls into this category.
The academic university was established as an institution for learning. Originally, there was no intended place for carelessness and fun; you went to a university to learn. You paid for an education. Fast forward to today, and it’s a travesty. Movies and TV hold college partying on a pedestal, sports players get scholarships based solely on athletics (yet still have to pretend they care about learning), and people who came to college for the right reasons are the ones who are looked down upon.
When I began my time as a student here at Bowling Green State University, I knew that these “stereotypical” students were going to exist. It’s an inevitable part of life. But I didn’t care; my plan of action was to just ignore them, and put my lot in with my family of fellow students who understood the true value of higher education. However, what I didn’t count on was the sheer brazenness of the “stereotypicals.” I quickly accomplished the second part of that plan — establishing a close web of fellow students who share my views of education and its value, mostly within the community of music majors — but it just isn’t possible to completely ignore the general population when you have to live with them in residence halls and attend the same classes they take.
I have had the displeasure of having to live near some of the worst cases of stereotypicals. One can almost pity these poor people. They will likely never realize that they are wasting their time here, at least not until it’s too late. The problem is that, until they figure that out, they are going to continue to disrupt the lives of those of us who actually care about our education and general well-being. As an extreme example, without going into much detail, I was once assaulted by an athlete in my own dorm’s hallway for walking to my room after printing off a homework assignment late at night. That’s a story for another time, but let it suffice to say that being arrested and charged as a criminal is apparently what it takes before one of these people realizes they are behaving stupidly.
Now to get to my point. Today I was in the library, enjoying the quiet in which I could study, when I realized something. The loud delinquents on my floor, who were a main reason for my choice to study in the library instead of my own room, will probably never be found here in the library. This is my sure-fire getaway from them. Students who don’t care would never take time out of their busy partying schedules to sit in the library. And that’s when I recalled an idea that had come up last year, after the assault incident.
These people can do what they want, and think of me what they will (if they ever stop to think at all). They don’t seem to want to take a moment to consider what effect their actions and attitudes now will have on their future. The difference between students like that and students like me is that I think of the future and work to make it the best I can. Because of that, odds are that I will be much better prepared for real life when it gets here. They can hide under the shelter of rich, spoiling parents or athletic scholarships, but a day will come when they don’t have that protection anymore. Meanwhile, I will have a career doing what I love. The future professional football player may make more money than I ever will, but when it comes down to it, my life will have true meaning, and I will be happy. And that is why I can say, without worry, the phrase that I have coined; my motto, my slogan, my catchphrase — my Hakuna Matata, if you will.
They might say we’re nerdy, but we say we’re successful. We’ll see who’s laughing at who in ten years.