As a college student you run into a few conflicts. One of the most common of these is between education, and being socially accepted. These two statuses conflict almost every hour of the day. Should I go out and drink tonight even though I have an eight o’clock class? All my friends are going to Kansas City this afternoon, and I have a class. Which should I do? These are just a few of the dilemmas a normal college student runs into. I for one was out until two o’clock in the morning the night I decided to write this paper, so I know what I’m talking about.
Being a college student takes a lot of your time. Classes and studying correctly leaves little time for anything else. The average student takes about fourteen hours a week, and should probably study that same amount of time to be completely prepared. If this were done all in one day it would be acceptable. Unfortunately, classes are spread throughout the week, and studying fills the hours in between. This however is not feasible for someone having the time of their life with their peers.
I have not researched the average college student on their social lives, but I can relate my own experiences. Most of the time college students have to work in order to go to school, or just live on their own. Work hours vary with each person, from eight hours a week to forty hours a week, but they also take a substantial amount of free time from a college student. This, along with classes, study time, sleeping, and eating time, leaves little or no time to make friends, or even keep them. But young adults thrive on social interaction, so therefore a struggle is bound to happen.
To become socially accepted requires many things. First you must have time to mingle. This is done in many social settings, such as bars, parties, dorm rooms, and sport events. Once at these events, you must keep up interesting conversations, partake in activities, and meet new people. Once these connections have been made, they do require some upkeep. You cannot expect a good friendship to come from occasional conversations. A good friend is made by time spent together. During this time connections are made.
Along with general social interaction, most students partake in extra-curricular activities. These can be Greek organizations, Residence council, Intramural sports, and various clubs. Some of these meet once a week, and others require much more attention. My Fraternity, Tau Kappa Epsilon, has events and activities almost every day of the week. You are not required to attend all of them, but missing them can set you behind quite a bit on gossip and inside jokes. I am also a member of Residence council that meets once a week. This takes only an hour a week, but occasionally we host an event.
Parents, and teachers alike encourage these activities. They help develop character, and enhance much needed social skills. These skills teach you how to handle yourself in the business world. Many of the procedures followed in meetings and events mirror business procedures used every day by our parents.
I guess you could say that everything we do is education for the life beyond campus, including the conflicts, but what is more important? Intelligence is a wonderful thing to have, but what good is it without the wisdom of how to use it? Intelligence is learned in the classroom, from when we are young children to young adults, but wisdom has been learned from parents and friends from the moment we are born. To me it would seem that wisdom wins that argument, but there are not many people wise enough to make a living on wits alone. Most of us are wise enough to know that education is the stepstool that helps us onto that higher plane of existence, economic freedom.
The only way I have found to solve this problem is to use great caution. Do not jump in with both feet to one or the other, but find a balance between the two. Societal acceptance can be achieved without ruining edification of the mind.