Like with most things in my life (namely, the boy I’m kinda, sorta talking to right now), I have a very complicated relationship with college. Over the past four years, we’ve had our ups and downs. There have been moments when my only thoughts were, I love college (when I was living one of these moments), and there were others (like when I was writing my thesis) when I’ve thought, I hate college with a fiery passion…
But that’s probably because college is a complicated institution, full of things we want to do, things we should do, and things we have to do. Some of the stuff is fun (Saturday tailgates), and some of the stuff is not so fun (Sunday all-nighters). So often, we love college just as much as we hate it. It’s a different experience for everyone, but I’ve pulled some of the more universal love/hate conundrums that go hand in hand with the college experience.
Love: Buying new school supplies. Shopping for school supplies is an art form as far as I’m concerned. You need just the right number of pens, just the right size paper, the perfect color Post-Its. You buy everything you need and you set it all up on your desk, and you take a deep sigh of happiness. You are ready to take on the semester. With these supplies you can take on anything.
Hate: Running out of highlighter ink within the first two weeks of the semester. No, not because you bought really crappy highlighters or because you left the cap open and it all dried up (I hate when that happens!), but because you’ve been highlighting nonstop since the semester started. You’ve never had this much reading in your life and everything seems important. How are you supposed to choose what to highlight? So you highlight a lot. A lot. In all of your books. For all of your classes. And then your brand new highlighters dry up.
Love: Learning something new and interesting. Call me a geek but sometimes I actually enjoy my classes. Reading a good book, discussing an interesting theory, or exploring different ways to look at the world? Not the worst thing in the world. Sometimes it’s not only interesting, but actually entertaining. It’s in these moments that I love my major and my classes, and actually don’t mind the whole “going to class” thing.
Hate: Having all of the fun sucked out of it by writing a 10-page paper on it. Okay, so you love this book? Write a ten-page paper on it. What? Excuse me? Having to focus that much time and energy on any one thing will inevitably lead to you hate it. (Just ask your ex.) When I have to write papers or take tests on the topics that I most enjoy I don’t enjoy them anymore. Because suddenly it’s not something fun and interesting, it’s something I have to do. And nothing you have to do is ever really enjoyable. (Just ask me about sexy time with my ex.)
Love: Being treated like colleagues rather than students by professors. I love that in college the professors actually treat us like adults. They don’t baby us. They don’t coddle us. Some of them actually treat us like colleagues or friends rather than students. They are not demeaning and they don’t try to control us, and they actually listen to what we have to say. They respect us enough to see us as adults rather than young adults, (at least most of them anyway), and that makes our time with them so much more enjoyable.
Hate: Getting Facebook requests from those professors. I don’t care how cool you are, professor, I don’t want to be your Facebook friend. It’s just not going to happen. I can’t skip class and spend it on Facebook if you’re my friend. I can’t complain about papers, or joke about dropping out of school to become a stripper if you’re my Facebook friend. Because you might think I’m serious. (I’m not, by the way.) You might get insulted. You might not understand why that quote from textsfromlastnight.com was placed on my Facebook wall and you might not want to. So no professor, I don’t want to be your Facebook friend.
Love: Having the ability to design my own schedule. Probably one of the things that I always looked forward to the most about college was the ability to create my own college schedule. No classes on Monday. No classes before 10 a.m. Night classes only. Whatever I wanted, I could make happen. And I could make it happen with the best professors and the most entertaining (read: easiest) classes. College was like a dream come true. Or so it seemed.
Hate: When that schedule gets tossed out the window when none of those classes are open anymore. It was during the Fall semester of my freshman year that I first discovered every school’s dirty little registration secret. It may appear like students could choose their own schedules, but that was really only for the lucky few that had early registration times. The rest of us were left with nothing to choose from but Friday afternoon Intro to Public Speaking classes. Exactly what I was not looking for. So yes, I love that in college we have the potential to have a very easy-going schedule. I hate that this very rarely happens.
What about you? Share your loves and hates with college below. You know you got ’em.