Column: College puts you in your bubble

Being self-centered in college is nothing new. College makes us focus on ourselves, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but students should be careful to remember that the world doesn’t revolve around them.

All college students are a bit self-centered and demanding. We freak out when things don’t happen our way. We forget life doesn’t revolve around us.

I’ve witnessed first-hand the first-world problems that we break under as college students. We know that the world is going crazy, that people are dying, but we can’t focus on that. We have homework! The immediacies of school fill up our minds, which is what we’re told is supposed to be.

I’m not saying college makes you a bad person. Not at all. College is a great way to meet people and educate yourself to have a better future.

However, what are we being educated to do while in college?

Sure, we’re learning more about our major and minor courses, but I also believe the institutions of colleges and universities are teaching us to put ourselves and our needs first, before anything and anyone.

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I’m not saying we don’t think about others. We volunteer, intern and study other cultures and attempt to show solidarity and appreciation by doing so. But being in college programs us to put ourselves before the other things, events, people, etc. Our selves occupy our minds.

But we have to act this way to survive college

We care about how busy we are, not how busy anyone else is. We stress about exams, essays, presentations, interviews and other hectic situations as if they are the only thing that matters. We stress over the idea of stress. We can’t go to family events because we have so much homework. We can’t meet with friends because we have so much studying to do. We use the phrase “so much” so much.

We exaggerate our tasks, not only to amaze, surprise and fool others, but to fool ourselves into thinking we’re the most important, busy, hard-working people ever.

We think that everyone—our parents, professors, God—should give us a break in life because we’re working hard in college. We like to believe our goal of learning is enough to merit a break in life.

Why do we need to convince ourselves of our hard work? Because we’re scared that we’re actually not doing anything important, relevant or educational. The institution of college and universities wants us to be completely devoted to school. We’re supposed to focus only on our grades, and we get reprimanded when we live life a little.

This is what college wants us to do

It doesn’t want students to party and skip out on class. It wants us to solely focus on the immediacy of our class schedule. We need to always be prepared for everything coming our way, and we’re made to feel bad when we sometimes are not prepared, or we are going through other things that might take up our time.

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Is this good? Is getting an “A” really all that important? It seems like it. Actually, at times, it seems like acing the class is more important than actually learning the subject.

What does this do to us once we graduate? Will we even know anything other than how to take exams and get good grades?

At times, I feel like my only purpose in school is to just regurgitate information in various ways, through exams or papers or presentations. As students, we feel we have to keep going and going, but we never stop to ask ourselves why. But that’s the point. College teaches us to function in today’s society.

Do we have to be self-centered to succeed in society?

Unfortunately, I think so. College is helping us understand the reality that, if we were to focus on everything that can be relevant or going on in our lives all at once, we wouldn’t be able to handle it. College is teaching us to focus on one thing at a time.

We’re learning how to place priority on deadlines. We’re learning how to take commands without batting an eye. We’re learning how to master our tunnel vision. College is teaching us to get jobs and listen to others simply by slipping into a focused drive with a singular motive. In college, our one motive is graduation.

In life, it’s survival. College is preparing us for success in a our corrupted, flawed society. It’s not that we’re becoming worse people—we’re just becoming more focused people. 


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