University, bad points and all, are the key to success

Every year at this time students question their enrollment at this fine institution. It’s easy to see why: the tuition deadline was last week, hefty credit card bills arrived in the mail to further erode bank accounts, parking is a bitch, and crowded hallways are worse. And so, students are left to wonder, is it all really worth it?

Many have heard it preached countless times over that university is an enlightening experience. It is supposed to open minds and free repressed confusions. Although some students will pessimistically try to deny this phenomenon it will inevitably creep up on them–other people’s clever and insightful ideas cannot be resisted beyond a certain immature period. Time and higher-level courses reveal that university actually does make students ponder all of their previous conclusions about life, love and the world around them. Within the walls of post secondary, individuals are presented with the opportunity to √ěnd themselves (excuse the cliché) in order to adequately prepare for the long-haul called adulthood.

At university nobody gives a crap if you wear Big Star jeans or a potato sack. Everybody is equal except for the one factor that might actually be signi√ěcant–intelligence. University is a humbling experience. Not only do students realize appearance and material superiority gets them nowhere, but they quickly learn that as individuals they play the role of only one member of an enormous and universally intelligent student body. Just when you think you have reached the only correct answer to an vague question, an apparent simpleton across the lecture hall oVers a better one. University warns against the danger of underestimation.

Perhaps the greatest frustrations students encounter at school are those created by peers. University forces people to embrace a certain level of tolerance. Any given lecture is full of annoying people with irritating and illogical habits. There are those who ask way too many questions, others who ask stupid ones, and many simply don’t deserve to open their mouths. Thousands of men and women (and children) are thrown onto campus and they must combine countless different cultures, behaviours and shortcomings to create some kind of harmony. Sound like any other place you know? The whole world, perhaps?

University is one of our only keys (if there is a key) to a successful career. University is practical. University makes sense. If all else fails and students leave here closed-minded, arrogant and intolerant, at the very least they will be educated on paper. And to all those foolish individuals who justify not going to school by claiming that degrees are "useless," here is a word of encouragement. If alumni are screwed with a degree, one can bet that you are really screwed without one.

Students should accept that university will always be too expensive and the Science Theatres will remain dated for a few more decades. Some professors will be decent and others will shock you with blatant incompetence. But regardless of all these permanent realities, university is certainly still worth it.

Erin Maduck can be reached at:

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