Should College Be One Big Party?

<p>I like what jaylynn said – I think that reflects an absolute perfect outcome in college – it obviously went well from an academic and career prep perspective if jaylynn became a physician, and yet there was fun, levity, personal broadening, and quality friendship. I would love to see that for my kids.</p>

<p>After I read the post, I asked myself if I’ve become a picklepuss in the time that’s elapsed since I left school. I am just feeling so staggered, in the past several years, by the enormity of the cost of replicating the private LAC experience I had, the recognition that my own kids are not strong students (almost guaranteed to get As in socializing, if given the opportunity, but I’m not so confident of the other stuff), the dismal economy they will probably graduate into, and the many young adults I see today (typically weaker students from weaker schools) who feel consigned to serfdom by their big college debts and limited job prospects.</p>

<p>Can anybody relate?</p>

<p>I, frankly was not a particulary great student as a late teenager. Beer, patries and having a good time were Priorities 1,2 & 3. About the time I turned 20 a very low watt bulb went off in the noggin and I began to actually read the books we bought for our classes to prepare…Novel Concept and boy did college become much easier.</p>

<p>Fast forward 24 months, graduated and moved on to study what I thought would be my career path. Very smooth academic saling, graduating with highest honors while working.</p>

<p>Fast foward another 20 years - my position has almost nothing to do with either degree earned, outside of the problem solving skill set taught. Pays much better than having stayed in either field.</p>

<p>DD has heard edited versions of some college stories. She is more focsed academically than I was and we hope this continues.</p>

<p>There are articles in the press today about a young man from the University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point who drowned in a river after celebrating this 21st birthday with too much alcohol.</p>

<p>Remembering some recent similar stories, I went on the google. There were two similar deaths involving college students at UW-Oshkosh and UW-La Crosse this school year.</p>

<p>Earlier this fall, a UW Madison student was found dead in his apartment after a night of too much drinking.</p>

<p>So, that’s four alcohol related deaths involving college students from one state’s colleges, in the first six months of this school year. (Perhaps there are more. I am not an investigative journalist.)</p>

<p>There’s got to be a better way to have fun.</p>

<p>I know where this thread is heading.</p>

<p>Honestly, college is a party even if there is no alcohol or drugs. How often do you get to get up at noon for the start of your day? Hang out with your friends every single day? How about all your meals cooked and ready for you. It is a party. </p>

<p>Now I need a drink.</p>

<p>It’s all Wisconsin’s fault!!</p>

<p>Seriously, of course those are awful tragedies. And of course there are better ways to have fun. But who ever said college kids were as smart on the weekend as we know they are in the classroom? The key is to talk talk talk with our children to give them tools to deal with life issues they will encounter. They will have to find their own way; we can only give them strategies and skills to navigate the world. I was totally one of those kids whose parents say “My daughter doesn’t drink so I am not worried about that part of college life.” It wasn’t true after a few weeks of college life. Don’t bank on it; talk about it NOW. </p>

<p>Thanks, fieldsports, for your nice words. And Threesdads, I had a similar epiphany about what was important for success in college. I love your “low watt lighbulb” moment!</p>

<p>For me, academics and self discovery. Not so much career prep. About the only thing you can study in undegrad that goes right into a job is accounting, nursing or engineering as an “accountant” “nurse” or “engineer” maybe chemistry-chemist and perhaps a few more but the majority of college is not really “career prep.” You don’t need to go to college to be a dancer, musician, artist, etc. unless you want the enrichment college provides. And yes momof3greatgirls is correct…whenever in your life do you get to spend 4 years independent, working less than 40 hours a week if you can swing it, don’t have to prepare your own food and if you don’t mind gang showers the bathrooms can be cleaned for you.</p>



<p>It certainly is not my intention to bash lacrosse players. However, here are some facts that I found. The Harvard School of Public Health discovered that athletes tend to drink more than their non-athlete peers and to experience more negative effects. And among athletes, lacrosse players are among the biggest partiers. A NCAA study revealed that about 95% of the country’s male lacrosse players drink.</p>

<p>It’s a different world than the one your neighbor grew up in. I was talking on an airplane with the head of sales for a company that was acquired by a family investor. Historically, they hired people with great personalities who weren’t especially educated. Many of them have not been able to adjust to more complex products and a more competitive world. He has been trying to get these people to perform better, but most of them don’t want or can’t change and he’s having to let many of them go.</p>



<p>I’ve always thought of it as a very expensive summer camp, but with classes. Parties don’t last for months.</p>

<p>My kids worked really hard to get into some excellent colleges. I told them they should have as much fun in college as they possibly can, while still earning good grades. So far, this is exactly what they have done.</p>

<p>I am with Bay on this. I also think D1 was able to get her first job because of her social skills, not necessary of her acceptable GPA.</p>

<p>College was a blast and it did prepare me for my highly competitive career. I’m hoping our kids are able to balance and achieve all of the above stated goals. A little socializing isn’t a problem. Paying $50k a year to party is.</p>

<p>FWIW: I waited tables through college and served many athletes over the years. Once I was BIT by a customer! And yes, he was a lacrosse player. But I don’t hold it against the sport and both DD and DS play.</p>

<p>And as far as the partying FB teen is concerned: he knows how to lock down his site. He probably wants to brag to his friends, thus the picture of the half naked girl. His father isn’t doing him or our daughters any favors.</p>

<p>I’m not sure why there is always such a bright line being drawn between students who study and students who party.</p>

<p>For the most part, my sons have done both. They take heavy class loads, study hard, get good grades, work beneficial internships, play club sports…and sometimes party too.</p>

<p>I’d be upset if partying was the focus of my son’s campus life and he would hear about it for sure. But I would be almost as upset if he did nothing but grind away in his room and the library and did not take the time to enjoy his four years in the campus bubble. There are things that you can do on campus that you will never, ever get a chance to do in the real world…whether it’s going out to breakfast at the wee hours of the morning just because you can, or staying up all night reading in the library, or dancing in a too hot, too dark, too loud basement with a girl you might have been to shy to ask to dance…but ended up dancing with anyway!</p>

<p>Occasionally breaking loose does not make one a “bad” student or a bad person. Nor does living life exclusively in the library qualify a student for sainthood. Most students find a successful life balance and that itself is one of the most important lessons to be learned in college.</p>



<p>Certainly not. </p>

<p>Just saying that when parents/taxpayers/college defray a college student’s tuition/expenses…it isn’t for the purpose of blowing it on majoring in party, beer, and/or SO mostly/completely at the expense of everything else as seems to be the case with the father and his son with his encouragement according to the OP. </p>

<p>Personally…if one wants to spend some time partying or learning serious social skills related to sales/other positions…there are much more efficient ways to do so such as taking a gap year to party it up full-time in NYC, traveling the world, and/or starting a commission-based sales job right out of high school.</p>

<p>I agree with those who call for a reasonable balance. Unfortunately, far too many college students sometimes have problems figuring out and/or maintaining that balance. </p>

<p>Agree with the commenter who said that father is doing his son no favors…</p>

<p>cobrat - every time I read your post, I am reminded of Chinese students in D1’s dorm who just refused to go out even on weekend nights because their parents expected them to stay in to study. They all had to stay in to speak to their parents (to make sure indeed they didn’t go out). They were all amazed that D1 (half Chinese) was allowed to party while in college. Luckily, D1 was just wasting our money.</p>

<p>Well, I certainly would not be pleased if my kids did what I did in college!</p>

<p>Frankly, I partied quite a bit all the way through. I was never a straight A student, so getting a 3.5 in college was just fine for me. </p>

<p>The parties definitely became fewer and farther between as we moved into junior and senior year, then disappeared for graduate school. But it was really no problem for me to have fun on the weekends and get all my studying done during the week. That was just what we did!</p>

<p>My kids have both done well in college with grades but also have done their fair share of having fun (especially the older one). I was always happy to hear they have gone out with friends, gone to football, basketball games,etc. I would have been disappointed to think they spent their college years holed up in the library or in their rooms studying and playing video games. Balance is usually good for most of us.</p>

<p>For mine, I hoped she would take advantage of all the opportunities that the university offered in terms of learning, experience, and interaction with people who had a lifetime of learning and experience under their belts. I hoped she would figure out what she might like to do in life in terms of a career. I hoped she’d make new friends, have a lot of fun, try some new things…but I hoped those new things didn’t include drugs or alcohol.</p>

<p>I encouraged her to try stuff that she might never otherwise get a chance to try. So, she took the infamous “tractor-driving” class. (Mind you she is about 5 ft tall/100 lbs and had never been anywhere near farm equipment.) THAT WAS AWESOME. I have a picture :)</p>

<p>“His folks are in for the 50k and it sounds like they are okay with it.”</p>

<p>I sure hope you come back in twenty years and tell us what you think.</p>

<p>We are planning our first “real” vacation trip, as our oldest graduates full pay private college. It will be a long flight, and H wonders if we should consider first class. I’m thinking maybe just first class for me and him, and the kids can “party” in the tourist section. For me the added cost equals the price of an extra day of vacation PLUS an additional day of not generating income. I have never traveled first class. Husband says no. Sigh.</p>