Alright, so I’m in college. I go to the University of Central Florida, and while it’s by no means a household university by name, it’s taken great strides even in the four years I’ve attended, and it should only grow in stature with time. That being said, I cannot lend the same feelings of hope towards my fellow student body, because on a daily and nightly basis I’m constantly reminded what we as a society deem socially acceptable behavior from my contemporaries. College has always been about partying. It’s been about meeting people, having sex, doing drugs, drinking copious amounts of alcohol, and occasionally finding your way through a drunken stupor to your 11:00AM Physics lab. But I think my generation has taken it above and beyond the proverbial “call of duty” for debauchery and life altering decisions that range from academic probation, to drugs, STDs and sometimes death over something so inane no logical person could possibly see a reason for it to have happened. As someone from the inside looking out, it’s an amazement to me how some of us survive, and it’s startling to come to the realization that in the future we will be the present.
And I say all of this with the upmost level of hypocrisy. I spent nearly a year of my life in a perpetual haze due to constantly putting my need for alcohol and nightly affection over my drive to successfully complete my educational requirements. I also can’t say there is any one moment that I can point to where everything changed, but it did. While there has always been a darker side to the college atmosphere, there were certain principles that applied for certain aspects encountered during our tenure. The concept of the college institution is to help focus all of the adolescent meandering into a suitable career goal and to set up an individual for his or her ideal living situation in the future. But it’s changed. High school is now the time of our life where we experiment, and college is the point where we endure things over four years that usually take a lifetime to recover from. Graduation isn’t a stepping up, it’s a plateau that we keep treading until someone comes along and fixes everything for us. The cynacism born out of college is going to keep my generation from ever having anything meaningful in their lives.
But, there are exceptions to every instance. While my collegiate experiance may be one of an inconsistent and droll nature, there could be ten people with good memories to one “me”. I doubt it though. And the people that would most likely tell you that they were devoid of any specific hardship throughout their foray into the world of higher education is probably someone that you didn’t already have a high opinion in the first place, because the only people I interact with who manage to get by are the ones who don’t understand what life is to begin with.
I’m well aware that this has the potential to come across as self-righteous and whiny diatribe from a twenty-two year old who has experienced nothing that age has to offer, although I think I’m saying this as someone who has had to handle things far beyond their years. But, without life turning out the way that it has, I doubt that I would have the ability to take a step back and objectively seek out the answers to my generation’s problems of apathy and self-fulfilling underachievement.
Or I could just lighten up and get a drink.