College is a time to figure out what we would like to do with our lives. It is a time to learn about and prepare for the careers we will have, most likely, for the rest of our lives. It is a time to attend new classes we never really had the option of learning about in high school as well. College is also a time to meet new people and be exposed to new experiences and activities. It is a time to make new friends, partake in new experiences and join new clubs and organizations. However, people seem to forget that the main reason we are here is to learn. Classes and homework often take a backseat to fun, when really, it should be the other way around. Going out to parties, getting together with friends and joining many time-consuming activities are all things that many students do. These things often take precedence over classes and homework. Staying in and studying for a test or working ahead on a speech is something that people put last on their list of things to do. While I agree that having fun and participating in activities is great, studying needs to be a priority as well. It is, in fact, what we are really at college for.
Tuition is not exactly cheap. It is pretty costly to pay for tuition, fees and, if you live on campus, room and board. Should we really be wasting our or our parents’ hard earned money going out every night or putting all of our time into an organization or club? Or should we be taking the time to go to class and to study and do our homework, saving the fun for last? We should probably be doing the latter.
Forming new relationships is also a huge part of college. Meeting new people is definitely something that we should be doing. Making new friends and dating new people are all a part of college. Of course we would want to hang out with and get to know these new friends, boyfriends or girlfriends, but these people should not take away from our schoolwork or classes. Your career will always be there, and hopefully so will these people, but there is a chance that they may not.
I am not advocating strictly studying and doing nothing else; I am advocating not taking on more than you can handle. Joining a sorority or fraternity, a bunch of clubs and having a job while also going to school is probably not a good idea. Try limiting yourself to one to three activities, especially if you also have a job. Making a to-do list is also an idea to try. If you know you have a test and an assignment due one week, you might want to wait to go out until the assignment is handed in and the test is over.
Remember that the main part of college is learning. Do not forget to have fun, but do not forget to study either.
Ashley Smith is a first-year student majoring in special and elementary education. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.