I Asked 31 Students What The 'College Experience' Means To Them
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I Asked 31 Students What The 'College Experience' Means To Them

"You’re supposed to get a nice piece of paper at the end."

I Asked 31 Students What The 'College Experience' Means To Them

The term “college experience” has always been vague to me, but I am sure of 2 things: it’s some sort of a journey and it happens when you are in college.

Some people think that the college experience is living independently, away from your parents, and transitioning into becoming a self-sufficient adult while others believe the college experience is partying and drinking all night. Sometimes, a person’s definition of the college experience can change over the years as they mature or deal with new events.

Therefore, I asked college students to briefly describe what they think the college experience is and whether they think they are experiencing it. I asked both girls and guys of different ages, spanning colleges across the country.

“Making friends, connections, and learning about yourself. I think I experienced some, but I regret not experiencing more.” – Ryan, male, 22

“It’s about having the freedom to make mistakes and learning from the mistakes you make. I’ve experienced that to a degree, but I’m definitely still in that process.” – Nathaniel, male, 20

“It’s a chance to further your education while meeting like-minded and similarly goal-oriented people. I’d say I’m living it. I have made a lot of good friends and try to take advantage of events and activities around campus.” – Brad, male, 21

Sex, drugs, alcohol. So yeah, I’m experiencing what college is. I did make new friends and I have great stories now because of it. And life crushing debt.” – Sam, male, 20

“It’s trying new things, expanding your views on the world, becoming the person you are and meant to be. Just enjoy this time of my life. I’m starting to experience it.” – Alexis, female, 19

“It’s either staying in your room and study all day or go and get f****d every night. I have experienced both actually, but more studying than f****d.” – Anonymous, male, 21

“It’s a combination of expanding one’s academic horizons while experiencing life outside of your parents’ control for the first time.” – Greg, male, 24

“It’s basically less studying and more meeting people and defining who you are; you’re supposed to get a nice piece of paper at the end but you are there to find yourself. And gossip. I haven’t experienced it.” – Anonymous, male, 19

“We’re reshaping our ideals and morality for the better. I think I’m in the midst of ‘experiencing’ these new kind of perspectives I come across.” – Raji, female, 19

“I internalized myself and got super down. I didn’t have a good experience last year.” – Matt, male, 21

“College is a time and place where you get to branch out and become your own person. Learn who you are and start to become a real adult. I’m experiencing it.” – Andrew, male, 21

“I don’t think I’ve experienced college yet. I make quarter-long friends that don’t last and I live off campus and I’m not in clubs. I guess the experience is being independent and networking. Making memories.” – Emma, female, 19

“All about drinking. I’m experiencing it.” – Cameron, male, 22

“I think a college experience is not only studying what you are passionate about, but doing things you love. It’s about finding yourself throughout all the different experiences and I’ve experienced it.” – Veena, female, 20

“I think the college experience is focused on taking all the skills you acquired before college and begin to apply those to the more specific fields and outside world and forging your own path. I feel isolated in community college, so no, I’m not experiencing it.” – Cole, male, 19

“It’s about building character, testing what you think life is all about, as well as what your life is going to be all about. Setting your priorities is a part of college. I believe friends and family come first.” – Adam, male, 23

“A place where individuals of similar intelligence but many diverse cultures learn to work together to improve themselves physically and mentally. I’m experiencing it so far.” – Jacob, male, 19

“The college experience is an array of stress and weight gain, but I hope it’s all worth it in the end.” – Alieyah, female, 20

“I think the college experience is not only a better way to gain knowledge, but a better way at gaining life skills, which include social and work. I can create my own schedule and I have to learn to manage my time, which help me get the experience.” – Connor, male, 19

“Mine was very academic and sports based. If I wasn’t studying, then I was at the golf course or on the road to a tournament.” – Jeremy, male, 22

“A part of it is partying and having fun. You also learn a lot, being away from home for the first time. I think I have experienced college since I’ve gone to 38 states and broadcasted over 100 sporting events.” – Chad, male, 21

“It’s about learning your strengths and weaknesses, finding what your passions are, and working to follow them.” – Bhavya, female, 19

“It’s living in the dorms and making friends with people on your floor, eating the dining hall food and getting sick of it, and going to crazy wild parties you later look back on while laughing about it. Most importantly, getting your degree with a greater sense of who you are.” – Spencer, male, 22

“I think the college experience is s**t. I dropped out.” – Vivian, female, 22

“It’s a balance between school work and your social life. It is also important to remember why you’re there while having fun. I’m experiencing both because I’ve had a great social life going to different events and parties, while still managing my time.” – Ryan, male, 19

“The college experience teaches the Zen of balancing life with all the bulls**t.” – Alex, male, 23

“I think of being able to achieve the American dream. I can’t say I have gotten the chance to experience it all. But you must grow.” – Marcus, male, 22

“There’s the school experience and the dorm experience. I like creating a schedule with my roomies to have fun with, but also use all the resources college offers, such as free tutoring and a writing center.” – Kyle, male, 19

“The college experience is seeing that your life has more problems than you realized. Since I’m still going through the experience, I have yet to decide what the future of my personality will be.” – Mika, female, 19

“College is the time for rebirth and where you don’t have to be something because others tell you to. I’m having a memorable one.” – Connor, male, 23

“It’s coming out of your shell to experience clubs, parties, new relationships, and more. I’m definitely living it.” – Kevin, male, 22

In conclusion, everyone has their own definition of what the college experience is. It is their choices that determine whether they experience it or not.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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