College is for students who are just graduating high school, or older people who are going back to school for a better chance at achieving their goals for a better job. College life has been, and still is portrayed as being nothing but partying, and having fun by the media. People have mixed ideas of how college life really is. In some movies and TV shows college students are young and fresh out of high school. High school students look at college life as being a break from the everyday mandatory requirements set by the educational system. A time to let loose and enjoy a more relaxed learning environment. The movies portray students drinking, smoking, sex, and fraternity initiations. All which sounds and looks appealing to the everyday person. Movie depictions of campus life can cloud judgments and attitudes of what to expect. Some people join a fraternity with high hopes of becoming a frat brother or sister. What people watch in the movies and what they have to go through in real life to become a brother or sister of that frat are the same. Fraternities choose who they let join their group based on initiations or test that involve humiliating tasks to one’s self or even can cause harm to themselves or others. Initiation tests and tasks seen in the media are actually used in current fraternities today. Also in most media college based movies tuition and books are paid for by the parents. Whom which are even affected by the media. Parents are worried that with spending money out of pocket on tuition, books, and living situations for their son or daughter to go to a continued education college that their child will spend the time partying, having sex, and just treating it like a little paid vacation after studying for years in elementary, middle, and high school. Students also feel that they can do the very minimum if not below the required expectations of the school.
Cost of tuition and books can put a very big strain on the budget, being based on credit hours. Ones cost for the tuition for a two year associates degree can reach as far as 30,000-40,000 dollars and on average a student can spend 1,500-2,000 dollars in books. In today’s society students and parents would not be able to afford that kind of money, so they rely on loans, grants, and scholarships. Grants and scholarships are among the most popular and sought after means of paying for one’s college. Loans are also granted to students but must be paid back usually within six months of graduating or being out of college and not graduating and dropping out. Living on campus can be just as expensive with average cost around five hundred dollars. On campus dorms limit your living space to a single room and having to share with another fellow student. Although not all campus’s have on site living quarters students have to find an apartment or share a house with other students. A little more living space but still a lack of privacy. With real college life living away from college brings up other expenses such as electric, gas, internet, means of transportation and the cost of food. Forcing students to take on a part time job, which adds more problems to the student with having to juggle work and school schedules. Trying to fit in time to do homework and study for exams or tests can take a toll on a student. Most people don’t realize how much stress college life can put on a student. Taking out loans to pay for expenses for schooling can start to add up quickly. Colleges also require a certain percentage of the students’ progress to be achieved. Stark state requires an “overall grade point average of 2.0” (www.starkstate.edu) to maintain their good standing with the school and continue attending classes. Financial aid requires a “Successful completion of 67% of the cumulative attempted credit hours.” (www.starkstate.edu) vs the credit hours they initially applied for in order to maintain good standing with financial aid. Some people are not aware of the complexities of being a college student and what is required. From my experiences with college life it can be very easy to overload yourself even with just taking on too many classes during a semester. College life is not what the media makes it out to look like. Trying to maintain good grades, attendance, and being able to survive outside of college can be very stressful. So far school has not been a walk in the park for me, but at the same time I had some of the best times while being in school. Putting myself further into debt from the student loans and feeling buried by homework assignments, quizzes, and tests I get stressed out a lot and often. There are times when one can let free and also experience the good sides of being in school by joining clubs or groups. Even a break between classes can be a blessing and gives you the chance to be social and communicate with others or to even catch a quick bite to eat.
College life on TV and in the movies do not show the ugly sides of what actual college life is about. It is best to give it a try and experience all benefits that being a college student has to offer. Colleges do offer many forms of help including Writing center, Math tutors, Digital Library, disability support services, and a help desk. Teachers also have office hours that one can go to for a more face to face explanation of certain assignments.
Stark state College (2014) Standards of Academic Progress
Retrieved from http://www.starkstate.edu/sap