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The college experience: how romantic?

CatriaCatria Registered User Posts: 11,349 Senior Member
edited November 2012 in Parents Forum
On CC, college seems to be treated as a romantic experience to be lived away from home and, if one can afford it, to be experienced out-of-state.

But is it really as romantic an experience as I think it is?
Post edited by Catria on

Replies to: The college experience: how romantic?

  • LiquidBunnLiquidBunn Registered User Posts: 79 Junior Member
    I hope so, or all these essays I'm writing won't be worth it. xD
  • NJSueNJSue Registered User Posts: 2,790 Senior Member
    Many students look forward to going away to college because it is a challenge and an opportunity to reinvent yourself away from people who have known you all your life and who have preconceptions of you. Also, it's a relatively risk-free adventure, a way to check out life in a different region without having to worry about the pressures of permanent relocation. Finally, it makes it easier to imagine yourself moving elsewhere, so you can take advantage of jobs and educational opportunities post-graduation without being tied to the parental apron strings (psychologically speaking). I would imagine that people who go away to school find it very liberating, if a bit scary. I know I did. It is also difficult at times; homesickness and insecurity are common.
  • blueiguanablueiguana Registered User Posts: 7,496 Senior Member
    The word romantic doesn't come to mind. The words choices and fit come to mind. I believe here on cc parents believe in encouraging their students to explore the possibility of schools they may not have considered to find the right fit, as well as to have as many options as possible come April. Options are going to come in the form of both admits and financially acceptable schools once merit and financial aid has been awarded. Every student/family is going to have a different approach depending on their objectives. Within the same family each student may need a different approach.

    If that's your definition of romantic...
  • wis75wis75 Registered User Posts: 12,483 Senior Member
    Romantic is too shallow a word to describe the college experience. OOS not necessary, not living at home definitely enhances the experience. A cocoon existance separating the child from the emerging adult is as close to literary romance as I can come. As a science person I reject romanticism in defining my and most others' college experiences. More real.
  • happymomof1happymomof1 Registered User Posts: 25,554 Senior Member
    Nationwide, more students live at home and commute to a local community college or 4-year college/university, than go "away" for their educations. If you find that you prefer to study close to home, or that it is your best option for other reasons, you will be in good company.

    Romance, like so much else in life, can be found wherever you are.
  • ChoatieMomChoatieMom Registered User Posts: 3,647 Senior Member
    Well, it was very romantic for me. The gorgeous, kind, generous, funny, brilliant boy a few doors down from my room walked into my life the first week of my freshman year and hasn't left yet (35 years later). ;)
  • college_querycollege_query Registered User Posts: 4,027 Senior Member
    I think it's because a pivotal point in many people's lives. When you are a child, you don't usually have much say where your family lives or where you attend school. Then suddenly you are getting to make decisions about where you will study, knowing potentially this decision could shape your destiny. Of course, all of your decisions shape your future, but this one seems bigger.

    Saw the movie Liberal Arts a couple of weeks ago - it deals with the theme of college as a romanticized, ideal time.
  • CreeklandCreekland Registered User Posts: 3,541 Senior Member
    I'm not sure romantic is the word I would use, but I absolutely loved my 4 years and am glad my boys are all heading on a similar route, though at different colleges. Two are in college and loving it.

    Romantic could fit in the aspect that I found my perfect mate there... ;) We both love having shared our college experience.

    It all depends upon whether you want college for "the degree" or whether you want "the full package." "Life" works either way, of course, but they are definitely different paths. Some prefer one, others prefer the other. To each their own.
  • zobrowardzobroward Registered User Posts: 3,933 Senior Member
    it can be romantic but, not if you are crammed into a triple room. and no I do not mean in romantic realtionship, you should be able to grow and learn. but, if you never have privacy (alone time) and are dealing with roommate problems being woken up or not being able to go to bed when you want...it makes it much harder.
  • Emaheevul07Emaheevul07 Registered User Posts: 5,966 Senior Member
    I was in my old college town yesterday for the first time in a while and was struck by how insignificant my time there turned out to be in the grand scheme of things. I got the degree which in turn led to getting my job, so it's not as though it counted for nothing, but it was pretty close... I was so obsessed with the idea of the college experience when I was trying to get in to college and while I was there, and as it turns out it was probably an experience I didn't need to have. Aside from the education, which I could have gotten much more cheaply if I hadn't wanted "the experience" too, I really didn't get anything out of it that I took with me. I'm told that means I did it wrong.
  • SteveMASteveMA Registered User Posts: 6,079 Senior Member
    I FULLY support the idea of the "college experience". There is so much to be learned going away to college, living in the dorms, dealing with people you don't really care to be around, managing your time without your parents asking "did you do your homework", etc. I've lived through that, watched many kids live through that and have watched many kids that did NOT live through the "college experience" struggle to get used to being an adult with their first jobs. There are mechanisms in place on college campuses to deal with homesick freshmen, etc. there aren't at companies around the nation. The more I read on CC, the more firmly I support kids going away to college. Parents are just WAY too involved in their kids' lives, we are guilty of that too, and it's just too easy for the kids to fall back on that if they live at home.
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Well, it was very romantic for me. The gorgeous, kind, generous, funny, brilliant boy a few doors down from my room walked into my life the first week of my freshman year and hasn't left yet (35 years later).

    Ha! Same here - met my H of 26 years during fall of my freshman year, started dating that winter and the rest of history. I absolutely look back on that time fondly (though I also think that I would have loved any one of a number of colleges equally too).
  • mommusicmommusic Registered User Posts: 8,301 Senior Member
    Also met my DH at college--he was a freshman and I was 2 years older! But I waited for him to "grow up" cause I knew he was worth it. :)

    Other than that, no, I wouldn't call my 6 years of UG and Grad school "romantic." It was tough, eye-opening, and made me grow up. (LOL I may have been older than my H but not as well-traveled or mature in some ways.)
  • PizzagirlPizzagirl Registered User Posts: 40,488 Senior Member
    Ha - my husband is 4 years older than me calendar-wise, but 3 years older academically. We both have December bdays but he was "old" for his class and I was "young" for my class. So he was a senior when I was a freshman, but I asked him out anyway :-).
  • lookingforwardlookingforward Registered User Posts: 24,974 Senior Member
    Met DH in grad school.
    I see the residential college period as a transition from home to young adulthood, a chance to explore, make more of your own choices (and mistakes,) learn more responsibility for onesself, and be exposed to more than the same old patterns and sorts of people in the home community. All while someone is still providing a roof, a bed and meals. (In addition to my expepctations for their academic and intellectual growth.)

    We have to face that, for many kids, the residential experience is a privilege. Not all families can afford this wondrous time.
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