[It’s pretty obvious that the average CollegeCandy reader has some very strong opinions. Opinions that she likes to share with everyone on the site. We love a strong woman (unless she happens to be charging at us with her fists raised), so we thought we’d give her a real forum to discuss her thoughts, feelings, and perspectives. Every Friday I’ll be featuring a hot topic (like sexting!) and leaving it up to you, the readers, to duke it out. So, read it and get your debate on in the comments section below!]
I know what you’re thinking – no, I’m not talking about really active senior citizens, I think they’re great (go Betty White!) – I’m talking about those people who hang around undergrad for 6 or 7 or 10 years “finding themselves” without ever actually bothering to get a degree. Well now, with the budgets for higher education getting slashed left and right, some states have decided it’s time for these super-seniors to get moving.
On one side of the coin, this seems like a good idea. I’m all for finding yourself and making sure that your degree is right for you. I’m also all about living the dream (read: college life) for as long as humanly possible. But some people, like that 25-year-old guy everyone on my campus knew, start using these ideas as a way to avoid going out into the real world and growing up.
I admit, it’s scary out there (what do you mean they’re going to turn off my power?), but it’s just one of those things we all have to face and if I have to live out here in the great-big-scary, then I think it’s only fair that they join me. And the states have it right on one point – these people are sucking up resources that others could be using to get an education. Not only are they skipping out on adulthood, they’re actually making life harder for others just by taking up space and money. Buck up, make a decision and get your diploma already!
But, there’s also an element to this idea that just rubs me the wrong way – should schools or the state be able to tell you how long you can take for your education? Many of these super-seniors are paying part or all of their own tuition, and if you’re willing to pay, shouldn’t you be able to hang out as long as you want? Also, you run into the problem of people who change or do double-majors. These things can take more time and it’s not really the state or school’s place to tell you that you can’t change what you want from your future or explore your options. As long as you’re willing to deal with the consequences of being that creepy old chick at the frat parties (or, you know, spending a long time on your education, whatever) then who are they to tell you that you need to hurry up?
So what do you think? Is it time for super-seniors to get a move on and stop hogging all the funding? Or should they be allowed to pull a Van Wilder and do things at their own pace, how ever long that takes? Duke it out!