The college experience shouldn’t go to waste

Trevor Drew

Everyday is a great day to be a Wildcat. Despite the stress of exams, assignments and a job, college life is a pretty good deal. I have a solid view of a colorful neighborhood from my room, Marquette is a beautiful place to live and at almost anytime of the day I can walk down the street and buy pizza slices for $2.75. Yup, I have it made in the shade, but it wasn’t easy getting here.

Some people can’t handle the transition into college and end up drunk on the very thing that makes college so appealing: freedom.

Most students would agree that one of the better aspects of higher education is the freedom. In high school, I was a sardine rather than a student. Day-after-day, I compulsively navigated the crowded hallways, stared at my teacher for hour and a half increments till the final bell rang, then went home and prepared to do the whole mundane ritual again.

These memories flashed in my mind as I unpacked my things into my dorm and my mom gave me one last hug goodbye before she started the long trek back to Royal Oak. At first it was overwhelming having so much control over my life. With no parents or teachers around to tell me what to do, I was calling the shots.

There were times I failed to make the “adult decision.” But I grew wiser. Ice cream isn’t a proper breakfast and a “Back to the Future” movie marathon isn’t a good reason to put off studying. With a few semesters under my belt, I’ve found that being pushed out of the nest is still the best way to figure out how to fly.

College is a bizarre time for most. It’s a strange sort of limbo where you aren’t quite considered an adult but you’re too old to be shrugged off as some kid. You’re studying and working to be something, but you haven’t quite made it yet.

The first few months of college you have to decide whether you are going to sink or swim. It’s easy to fall into the habit of skipping classes and goofing off with friends, but you have to fight the urge.

College is the transition between being a child into adulthood.

It’s important to try to enjoy yourself in-between classwork, but overall, seeking higher education is ultimately an investment in yourself. Learning to be disciplined and having responsibility for your own actions are some of the greatest things I’ve learned since coming to Northern.

Simply attending college, half-heartedly going through classes and messing around is a huge waste of an opportunity not everyone gets. The whole experience isn’t supposed to be a drag, but it’s also not a reason to go wild for four years then graduate with no idea where to go next.

One thing I’ve heard from older friends and relatives is that college is the funnest, most exciting time of your life. And for the most part, I agree. But while these past years have been a blast, I would hate it if they went down as the best time in my life.

If my life plateaus after I graduate, that would be a huge bummer and I would be deeply disappointed. Life waits for no man and I’m no exception. There will be a time when I’ll eventually have to leave Northern Michigan University. No more classes, no more Wildcats, no more $2.75 slices, so I guess I’ll have to make the most of it while I’m here.