Many people believe that partying is an essential part of the college experience. Personally, I would overwhelmingly disagree – it is definitely not necessary. I don’t want to sound like a hypocrite because I do enjoy going out and did my fair share of partying as an underclassmen. However, I regret wasting a lot of my free weekends back then and I believe that partying is far removed from what college is really about. You don’t need to spend $50,000 just to party for four years. Whether you go to college or not, it’s trendy for young people to go out to clubs and bars on the weekend. Some of my friends from high school went into the military or the workforce instead of going to college, and they still like to party on the weekends.
It’s unpopular to mention this, but drinking is a riskful activity and can potentially result in liver cirrhosis, cancer, and other serious illnesses or injuries. That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it if you’re legally able to. You can argue that driving to work or school every day is also a risky thing to do, but no one goes out of their way to avoid it. You can still drink in a social setting, but it’s up to your judgment to decide how much is enough or if you even need to drink to enjoy a night out with your friends. You shouldn’t feel pressured regardless. There are so many other fun activities out there than just “the norm.” Fun weekend activities are very subjective, and everyone has their own preferences.
Here at Monmouth, I think every student should enjoy the beautiful quad, especially on a nice spring day, or study at the library. These are the more traditional aspects of college education. I think we should enjoy the beautiful and historic campus we have. I love to walk and sit at the Lois Blonder Sculpture Garden to watch the koi in the pond as I self-reflect. I love to hear the bells from Plangere every hour. Whenever I am in the library, I search for books just to read randomly and learn something new. At college, we often get distracted by only caring about our grades instead of prioritizing learning new things on our own. College students should focus on their own curiosity more and learn to explore something new. I am a huge believer in the famous quote by Socrates, “One fact that I know is that I don’t know.”
If you have free time, I recommend going to all of the home athletic games! Although they were away games, I went to the MAAC Basketball tournament to root for the Hawks at the historic Jim Whelan Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. I never had so much fun. That is what the college experience should be about – having school spirit and rooting for your peers with your friends and other people in the Hawk family. This goes beyond athletics. Show some support for your friends in Monmouth’s countless clubs and organizations by attending their competitions, events, or fundraisers.
One of my favorite memories as a student here at Monmouth has been hanging out with my friends on Saturday’s throughout the fall and winter, sitting by a bonfire and enjoying our time together. We live in an age where Big Tech is pushing for the complete opposite of this. With the metaverse and social media on the rise, we need to return to the old days of enjoying each other’s company in person and not being hooked to technology or video games.
There are so many fun opportunities for students to get involved at Monmouth University. I was able to go to a beach cleanup with the surf team. Also, after work one Saturday, I decided to go to Karaoke night in Anacon. The school always has fun late-night events on Friday and Saturday if going out isn’t for you. I am also involved with the Catholic ministry, and we have events every week as well. For example, we have dinner and a speaker comes in every Wednesday night at 7 p.m.
The college experience is also about opening your horizon to the world. We are blessed to have a Global Education office here at Monmouth. I would recommend considering studying abroad or going to some of the international events held on campus. It is important to see the cultures of the Far East, Africa, Latin and South America, Europe, Middle East, the Pacific cultures, and many others.
The college experience should be as close to reality as possible so that students are prepared to face the real world. That’s why I am a little disappointed to hear underclassmen in the dorms can’t cook on their own. They don’t have access to kitchen appliances, and many of them wouldn’t know how to use them anyway.
Universities in America need to stop being like “hover parents” and let students learn from experience – if they make mistakes, they’ll learn from them. It’s also important for students to hear different perspectives and use multiple sources of information to educate themselves about different topics; this could include conservative, liberal, populist, centrist, libertarian, and other viewpoints that might not align with what students identify with.
You become more educated when you understand other people’s political and philosophical views. Also, if you play the devil’s advocate and stay informed about politics, you will be able to participate in educated debate with your peers. When the authority or political arguments are not questioned, you become a victim to indoctrination. The true college experience is embracing the school you are at, cultivating that desire for knowledge, having school spirit, and getting to know the family that is here.