Tricks to the higher education trade

This is my last semester of college and, rightfully so, I am excited and scared out of my mind. I’ve been a professional student so long, I have no idea what I’ll do with myself in December, after I’ve worn that goofy hat and gown and officially matriculated.

Of course there is the job option, although with the current economy, that prospect looks tougher and tougher. Then of course, there’s going home to mom and dad – perish the thought. While the idea of going to college for me was at once scary and exciting (much like graduating), it has always been an adventure. Even the mundane and dull days are never really, truly boring.

Below is a rundown of my top five reasons why college is worth four years, stress, and all-nighters.

1) Naps are once again acceptable. Not since Kindergarten have naps been such a necessity. We may have hated them when we were five, but now we’d kill for twenty minutes in the afternoon to lay down and get some shut-eye.

2) Pizza becomes a major food group. This is, however, a good and a bad thing as any freshman who has suffered the “freshmen fifteen” will attest. But still, the ability to eat pizza, hot or cold, anytime of the day or night, without mom telling you not to, is a definite perk.

3) The presence of too much and too little responsibility. In the big picture, your college years are often the most carefree. Most students don’t have a family to worry about or too many bills to pay. But in the everyday scheme of term papers, part-time jobs, and rent, never mind feeding yourself and doing your laundry, there is way too much responsibility. I’m sure somewhere there’s a happy medium. If anybody ever finds it, let me know.

4) Living in your own world. When is the last time you read a newspaper? (Other than The Oracle, of course.) It’s amazing how much outside events manage not to permeate the lives of college students. While some are too earth-shattering to be ignored, i.e. Sept. 11, for the most part our world is homework, study groups and how bad the food is at the cafeteria. Sometimes it’s nice to be oblivious.

5) Freedom. In the beginning it’s a little scary. You don’t have to call your parents to go to a movie or ask to stay out past curfew. Heck, you don’t even have a curfew. But in the long run, it’s the best. You’re able to make your own decisions about what to do, what to eat, when to eat, when to party, when to study and when to chill. Also, you begin to really learn about consequences and that whole living with them riff. It may not be the coolest at times, but is there a better way to learn some life lessons?

College can be fun and stressful, but mostly it’s an inevitable rite of passage for most young Americans. Given the options of other cultures, namely walking on hot coals or getting married at 14, I’ll stick with four years of higher education.

Have an awesome fall semester and see if any of the above college reasons make the next 14 weeks any more bearable.

Megan Sullivan is The Oracle’s opinion