By Kayla Lemay
On Sunday, September 6th, the New York Times published an article titled “Demanding More From College.”
Writer Frank Bruni said that college should not be comfortable, and students should not be trying to stick with a crowd of like-minded individuals. Instead, they should surround themselves with those of different beliefs and opinions, in order to better educate themselves to make their own decisions.
“Concerned with establishing a ‘network,’ they seek out peers with aspirations identical to their own. In doing so, they frequently default to a clannishness that too easily becomes a lifelong habit,” Bruni wrote.
Going further, he suggested that students should become well-versed in a wide variety of topics, and should constantly be learning about new things. He claimed that we, as college students, find whatever we’re interested in and use the Internet to burrow so deeply into our interests, that there is no common ground with others.
One of the last lines in particular got me thinking: “Now more than ever, college needs to be an expansive adventure, yanking students toward unfamiliar horizons and untested identities rather than indulging and flattering who and where they already are. And students need to insist on that, taking control of all facets of their college experience and making it as eclectic as possible.”
At first I was irritated. Who was this man, to assume so much about such a large population? Around 21 million students attend colleges and universities across the nation. That’s about 65% of the United State population.
Then I looked at my news feed on Facebook, the Twitter accounts I follow, and the bookmarks saved on my Chrome browser. I realized that Bruni was right. I have been digging my burrow of interests very deeply, and not surrounding myself with those of differing opinions.
Truth be told, you see it everywhere you go on campus. People join clubs because they have an interest, or because their friends dragged them along. And most of the time, those with shared interests in one area will share an interest in another area.
In class, we try to always get into a group with our friends, because we know them best. We enjoy the familiarity, so we complain when our professors assign groups to us, instead of letting us choose.
We have about 11,500 students on campus here at Bridgewater State University. Why is it that we hang out with the same people, instead of trying to broaden our horizons?
We have the entire internet at our fingertips in our required laptops, our multitude of smartphones, and our portable tablets. Why do we only browse the same sites?
It’s far too easy to get stuck in a rut. But remember, familiarity breeds contempt. Eventually we will get bored of everything we like, and try to cling to something else.
Rather than going through this, why not constantly change up what you do? Visit new sites, learn about new topics, and maybe join a new club, one you aren’t really sure about.
You’re getting into thousands of dollars of debt to get a piece of paper, and spending at least four years of your life on this campus. Why not make the most of it, and learn more than your major?
Kayla Lemay is the Editor-in-Chief of The Comment. Follow her on Twitter @klemay123 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.