College experience varies, emphasize three F’s



Column by Rachael Wylie. E-mail [email protected].

I love to people watch.

What’s funny about people watching is for whatever reason, you feel as if you’re invisible. No one can see you eyeballing that girl who decided to wear pink jeans that were far too small for her well, “healthy” figure.

I’ve caught myself engrossed in conversations and mesmerized by awkward outfits that had absolutely nothing to do with me and shouldn’t have affected me in the slightest. Nonetheless, I find it difficult to walk away from one of the few free sources of entertainment left for a broke college student.

Recently, however, I haven’t found a lot of reasons to laugh. No, I’m not depressed, upset or listening to Death Cab for Cutie; I just started to pay closer attention to the people passing by.

It’s the beginning of fall semester, and people already look as if they’re hurriedly heading to their own funerals while lugging around a 70 pound backpack and fighting the whipping winds around POT.

And let’s be honest: it’s miserable trying to fight the elements on your way across campus to the Chemistry-Physics building, only to sit in a class full of equally miserable people who would rather perform their own root canal than learn about chemistry.

Or what about when it rains, and you’re left standing at the bus stop for 15 minutes because the bus is late (again) and can’t manage to take you to your car that’s parked in the paved hell-hole, K-Lot. Sound familiar? Sure it does. It’s called college.

There are many moments of a college student’s life that don’t live up to that ideal standard that most people have about “the college experience.” Yet this never stops most of us from relentlessly pursuing the ultimate college experience that we were told we’d have despite all those moments that make us wonder why we’re even putting ourselves through this.

When I was ready to head to college, there was a large emphasis put on fun, friends and freedom. My grandmother laughingly called it “the best three F’s that she never got to experience.” Now, get your head out of the gutter…ready? Okay.

I felt as if it was my duty to my grandmother to have as much fun as possible in college — in hopes that she would live vicariously through me and get to (somewhat) experience this wonderful life her parents could never afford.

However, when arriving to college and making it through my first month of school as a stressed-out freshman, I realized that sometimes, college wasn’t always all it was cracked up to be.

I feel like there is great pressure for young adults to be consumed in a four-year period that may or may not prove to be the defining moment in one’s life.

Sure, you’ll make new friends, stay up late doing nothing and drink yourself half to death before an exam, but are those really the things that are going to define this four (or six) year moment of your life? And if not, what should you be doing now that you most certainly can’t do when you’re out of college?

Freshman, I urge you to have fun, and make mistakes that will serve as a good story for the kids later on in life; however, I also ask that you be realistic while looking ahead into your next three years. Don’t hold college on some impossible pedestal that can never be reached.

College can be fun. It can also make you wonder why you never dropped out of high school and worked at a coffee shop for the rest of your life.

College is dynamic, and often times wonderful, but so is the life that lives outside the walls of UK. College is a stepping stone onto the next important moment in your life; it’s not the end-all-be-all, and it’s certainly not the only moment in life where you have a chance to make mistakes.

Trust me, there will be plenty of time to makes those in the future. Don’t stress kids, it’s ONLY college.

Rachael Wylie is an English junior. E-mail [email protected].