After finding success beyond my wildest dreams at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor, I was ready to take that next big step to Central Michigan University, a “real” college.
As a transfer student, I was sure to find many others, like myself, returning to school after years away and hoping to change their lives.
What I found were mostly youngsters.
These children, who have never been without the coddling of school, take their education for granted and totter around over some misplaced need to balance their only chance at self-actualization with booze and relaxation. They call it maturity, but it still seems childish to me.
I, along with the few students like me on this campus, have already had our break. We’ve already taken time to relax without the pedestal of higher education. We’re stronger for it. We’re not wasting time and resources to figure out where we need to be in life.
That distinction is what brought us here.
So here I am, living in a “transfer student” residence hall that I thought would be filled with those like me who know the value of just being here. Who’ve suffered before at the hands of idealism and left behind an easy, but depressing lifestyle.
But all I meet are more youngsters. I hear them partying into the wee hours of weekday mornings, gawking at my receding hairline, and finding it strange that I avoid their reindeer games.
It didn’t take $20,000 in tuition for me to find myself. And it seems a lot of these kids could use some time to earn their own mindless living, to develop an actual plan and reason before pulling the trigger on their parent’s checkbooks.
So the creepy old guy down the hall might be a little awkward. You might not get his aging references, and he might seem too intense to flop around in your wading pool of hard liquor. But he represents the grit and determination needed to succeed in life.
That’s something a lot of students miss when they run off to college, mini-fridges in tow.