Question the anything-goes life

Kathlyn Hotynski

I suppose presenting a sort of animosity for the very institution I seem to be supporting (monetarily at least – how’s that eight grand a year going?) isn’t the most brilliant idea for my column debut. However, I open with a critique of college – the college lifestyle, to be precise.

I’m not here to tear down the academic universe, bash the Blugolds, or babble about how silly it may seem to take approximately 762 credits unrelated to your major. I believe education, and specifically a higher education, is a valuable thing that will eventually get you away from your position as a cashier making seven bucks an hour onto bigger, better and more enlightened things. What I am here to criticize is the irresponsible anything-goes lifestyle college seems to perpetuate.

I’m not opposed to all the things that piece together the elegant tapestry of college life. There are things about it I enjoy. For instance, I take pleasure in wearing sweatpants daily. Because most work places don’t promote sweatpants-friendly atmospheres, I like being able to come to my “job” as a full-time student completely disheveled with no dress code violations. I don’t think the same thing can be said about all aspects of college life, however. I don’t think the number of consecutive days in sweats can be set alongside the number of times in detox with no raised eyebrows.

What I’m getting at is that we seem to take the same carefree attitude in getting dressed for school as we do in taking 21 shots on our 21st birthday, and don’t even flinch. I’m not saying being carefree is a bad thing, nor am I condemning going out and having a good time. I am, however, asking that we at least question this lifestyle that seems to be shoved down our throats upon arrival at school.

There are pros and cons in every aspect of life. There are things to question, consider, challenge. But so often we take whatever is thrown at us, no questions asked, as though drinking ourselves into oblivion and missing every Friday morning quiz is not only the norm, but the way it’s done because hey,

it’s college.

I’m tired of hearing the “it’s college” excuse as justification to completely or potentially screwing up your life for the sake of a few too many vodka seven’s. We all chuckle and say, oh those college kids. It’s like saying “boys will be boys,” but on a much larger scale. This isn’t a petty third grade playground brawl resulting in detention time. What people refuse to acknowledge is that this attitude can have serious, or potentially lethal, consequences.

We all seem to think that as soon as we are out of our parents’ peripheral vision, living in dorms or dives around Water Street, we are invincible. Some magical thing that protects us from being the next kid (because sadly, there will be a next) that winds up victim to a drowning. Or, on a less tragic scale, we think we will be shielded from failing our midterm, cheating on our boyfriend or drunkenly driving our way into a hefty fine. We think, in the midst of all this chaos, that we will look back later in life and laugh about how young and stupid we once were.

But why should we wait until later in life to make those changes? Now I kind of sound like an inspirational speaker, but really, why not? We are obviously smart enough (at least on paper) to get into college. And in just about every class I have attended, we are encouraged to think critically about the things we read and the ideas presented to us.

We are taught to challenge them with our own logic, and things we have gathered other places in our lives. Why can we not seem to take that concept and apply it outside the classroom?

Challenge the ridiculous college lifestyle. At least think about it, instead of just swallowing it whole.

Vorpahl is a junior print journalism major and columnist for The Spectator.