On College: A Memorandum
Aaron Osowski
I could fill this space with a long list of little nuggets of wisdom for those of you still in the thick of your college careers, but truth is, I’ve still got a lot to learn. Five years of college has taught me a lot about the world, myself, and other people—but never think that learning stops after college. In fact, I would almost say that learning in college prepares you for learning in the real world. But what would I know, I’m not really in the real world. OK, maybe I lied about the bit about not including nuggets of wisdom, so here’s the rub.
Before talking about what you should do after college (which phase I have literally just started having finished my last two essays on the plane ride to my SCA AmeriCorps trip in Idaho), I’ll say this about college: take advantage of your time here. Seriously. I know you can take that whatever way you might, maybe it means partying and socializing and I’ve done that too but whatevs. You’ve only got four years here (five maybe) and it’s your money you’re spending (probably), so try to keep what you’re doing in a larger context. You’re developing the skills that will be with you for the rest of your life— get involved in student orgs, take on leadership positions, do research, take on those harder classes—through getting more involved like this you’ll even find you reach out to and meet more people. Fancy that, eh?
On a separate note, as a college student in an age of student debt and a political climate hostile to education, it also rests on students not only to make sure they’re getting a solid education and working their butts off but also staying informed about the constant attacks on fair access to financial aid and college affordability. If Congress does not act come July 1 (yes you, GOP), interest rates on federal Stafford loans will DOUBLE from 3.4 to 6.8 percent, and with student debt already greater than credit card debt at over $1 trillion, we can’t sustain that. Be aware, be informed, and question the companies like Sallie Mae, who are making billions off of you and I whether we get a job or not.
To end on a lighter note, remember these things, UWSP students!