College and its representations.

Supreet Sahni

Professor: Steven Alvarez

English 110

8 April 2012


I spent all my childhood  listening to my parents saying “if you want to achieve something in life, you  have to go to college”.  All my life I  have been dreaming to make it big in life, and the only source I was made aware  of to achieve my dream was “College”. Generally, college is considered an  ultimate goal in a student’s life.  Parents and students believe that as soon as they will get into college,  their life will be set.  ‘College life’
is the most important phase of one’s life. It is this phase where a student  steps out of the warmth of their parent’s embrace and the cozy walls of their  home, to take on the challenges of the real world and make life changing  decisions on their own.  College not only  teaches them academic concepts but also social and cultural aspects of life. I  would say that the lessons learnt in college, help a lot to perform well in  today’s work environment. We can relate to the situations faced during college  to our day-to-day life, and use the lessons learnt in college to excel in our
professional lives.

But college does not  mean the same to everybody.  Many  students also join college, and look forward to the opportunities to be part of a  group for some kind of cause.  Whether  you’re conservative, liberal, or somewhere in between, college provides lots of  opportunities for getting involved. From politics to animal rights to the arts,  finding a cause to support enriches your personality and also prepares you to show it off in the job market once you graduate.  Each person or student has his/her own  perspective towards college.  Before entering into college students have their own expectations.  Some want to go there to gain knowledge, some  go to make friends and play games, others just to make merry, party, drink and  have fun.

In my essay I will  explore three such perceptions that students have about college.  I have noticed that the media has a great part in  making students have these perceptions.   I would argue these perceptions and would share my own thoughts and  opinion.


College : Educational
Institute or a Party Club?

Alcohol use by college students is serious. It affects the  individual drinker and other students around them. In addition, the college  years are times when students transition from adolescence to adulthood. During  this time, many students are exposed to risky health behaviors that may make  college a threatening place without proper precaution.  The following music video by Asher Roth,  performing, I love College, states just that and more. The video shows the  types of things that go on at these parties, like fights, alcohol and drinking  games, loud music, dancing, socializing, smoking, drugs, and sex. Roth, in his  video, with his singing, shows how the tradition of college drinking has  developed into a kind of culture, involved in every level of a college students’ environment.



College kids could give you a perfectly justified reason for  throwing a party.  While wine and cheese  might not be on the menu, you won’t have to remind anyone to do a beer run, buy  enough snacks, load up the ice chests and bring games. Heavy drinking has  become synonymous to the college party culture. Generations of college drinkers have handed down the custom, making students believe that alcohol is  a necessary ingredient for social success. As a result, students perceive this  drinking pattern as the social norm rather than as an unhealthy and destructive
behavior. “Tipsy Tuesdays.”, “Wasted Wednesdays.”, and “Thirsty Thursdays.”,  are some of the phrases students use to amuse themselves. Its also funny how  Asher relates “loving college” to “loving drinking” and “loving women” (I Love College).  Drinking impairs the ability to think and  perform rationally.  And because of this  lack of rationality, students often put themselves into social and sexual  situations, which they later find hard to deal with.   Students often get involved in unprotected  sex, introducing themselves to new deseases and in some cases early parenthood.

I personally have never been to such parties and do not intend to attend one either.  I go to college for a  reason and want to be focused on that.  Some  students feel compelled to attend such parties and be part of the nonsense, just  so they could “fit in”.  Despite all the  tradition, I don’t believe it’s necessary to kill your brain cells with beer  and drugs in order to “grow up.” Actually, it seems entirely counterproductive.

  College life and Stress

Students enter college with a lot of anxiety and  expectations.  Usually, students expect  the college to be like a place where they are going to have nonstop fun.  In the following video, Kristene a college  freshman had kind of similar expectations, but she soon realized it’s not as  easy as she thought it would be.  She  mentions how she has only been in college for two days and how she is already  falling behind.  Kristene, while sitting
in her dorm room, also explains how she is trying to cope up with her work as  well as her school.  She works part time,  and goes to work from six to nine in the morning, and then attends her class at  9:05 a.m. have a rosy picture of college and expect it to be a one constant  nonstop party.



Students often enter college with the “rosy picture” (Oh, the  college life…) in their minds, and they expect college to be a “constant
nonstop party” (Oh, the college life…).  They soon find out that college comes with challenges and struggles  because of the great demands and expectations that are put on the importance of  education. College students experience a great deal of stress, especially when  they are trying to balance a full time job, raise children, and have a social  life. The demands of doing many different things with very little time can  become overwhelming. There are a limited number of students who work full time  jobs and attend college full time. Others, still work late and get up in the  wee hours of the morning trying to fit all of the required tasks of school and  work into one day. Students often find themselves more exhausted when they are  trying to schedule tasks, because there just does not seem to be enough time in  one day. Putting in long hours and worrying about class schedules adds stress  to a student life.

Being a full time mother and a self-employed person, I experience  similar kind of stress.  I often feel the  guilt about not being able to spend time with my children. The children have  great demands on time, and the thought of not being able to keep up with the  demands of the children is very stressful and can be depressing to both the  child and parent. In other words everyone suffers because you are unable to  fulfill all the obligations that you have taken on.

College : Is it worth

In the following interview, host Harry  Smith spoke with Psychologist Dr. Jennifer Hartstein, financial contributor Ray  Martin and career expert Nicole Williams about rising college costs.  In the beginning of the interview Harry gives  stunning facts about increase in cost of college over the
last decade and that Americans owe over 830 billion dollars in student loan  debt which is more than the total credit card debt. Ray Martin busts the myth  that student loans are good debts and states that the collections system for  these loans is even worst.   While Dr.  Jennifer suggests looking for other alternatives to college would help students  save some money for a while, Nicole emphasizes on the importance of students’
intellectuality and their experience over the college degree.

Even though the number of college dropouts is more than the  college graduates, unemployment rate for college graduates is the lowest at
only 5%.  Even though the student loan  debt is skyrocketing, “people with college education far out earn people with  less education” (Is college worth the cost?).   People can find number of excuses not to go to college, but no matter  what facts you gather against going to college, only a couple in favor of it  would overshadow the negative ones. Henry has pointed out that “Cost of  education has increased by 25% over the last decade”.  There is no doubt about the raise in cost of  education.  It has increased just like an  increase in the cost of any other commodity in the world.  But just like we did not give up on any of  those commodities, we should not give up of colleges either.  College is a necessity for any society, as it  produces most of the top earners around the globe.  Unfortunately, it comes with a lot of debt as  well.  But as Dr. Jennifer explained
above that by looking for “alternatives” like mechanical diploma, going to  culinary school etc., we can widen our prospects.  Students should give themselves enough time  to decide whether they want to go to a college or other degree programs.  While they are deciding they are work and
save some money for themselves.   Another  way of beating the cost of education could be by starting saving at an early  age.  This is something every parent  should do.  They should start saving  money for their children early so they don’t feel the burden all at once.  I think college is worth spending money and  every student should have fair and equal opportunity.


From a personal college student experience, I have come to realize  that its takes hard work and dedication to be successful academically. In order
to be successful there are many factors that will lead to a victorious academic  career. These skills will help me become successful with my academic goals and  a clear outline to the path of my education. It is extremely important to have  a plan before the process beings. To achieve these goals there must be a system  in place for time management and studying. College is as valuable as it is  precisely because it offers opportunities to interact with different people  from different places, and to reevaluate our cultural categories.

Everyone has certain aspirations for their future, whether it is their ideal career or finding true love. What we hope and dream something to be is very  different in reality.  In the end, college is a gradual four-year bridge between being a  kid (high school), and becoming an adult (college graduate).


Work Cited:

  • “Is College  worth the money” by CBS, 21 September, 2010
  • Kristine “Oh, the college life…”. by KristineLB , 29 September, 2008
  • Roth Asher”I  love College”. 16 June 2009. AsherRothVEVO. April 2012.


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