It just struck me recently that, come June, I will be halfway done with college. That blew me away! I mean, it’s just crazy that it’s going by so fast. You spend your whole high school career and, in some cases, many of the years before that preparing for entrance into your college years and then the experience itself just flies by before you know what hit you. It’s got me thinking quite a bit about what it means to be a college student today and what makes our experience unique.
Though it seems like a given for us, the way that technology has transformed the college experience cannot be understated. Talking to parents who attended college in their day puts this in stark contrast. Nowadays, our dependence on technology in academia is definitely right in step with the dependence in every other facet of our lives. That being said, I hate using the word “dependence” in this instance because of the negative connotation associated with it. Say what you will about how our generation is addicted to technology and all that jazz. That’s enough fodder for several blog posts.
For all those faults, the access we have to technology has plenty of benefits, too. Access to incredible amounts of media whether it be the infinite number of books available through the network of libraries throughout the world or the audio and video files that are so accessible via the internet. As a theatre student, it’s fantastic to be able to use the Internet to easily access innumerable recordings of theatre, reviews, and texts that I can use in my own work. Also, so much of our work is communicated in the digital medium. We have online submission tools, email regularly with our professors, and even have class discussions online. This may seem obvious but it’s very interesting when you view the way we function as students in the context of how the college experience is changing. We are truly one of the first generations of students to view this way of learning as commonplace. We’re part of a paradigm shift! It’s true!
Of course, all of the tradition has not faded away. Traditions and a particular culture are what make each college unique. I have always been enamored of the traditional British universities like Oxford and Cambridge for that very reason. The tradition and honor associated with those schools made them temples of higher learning. I love that. I love the idea of surrounding yourself with a group of people who may not all be like you but certainly have the same goal as you: to broaden their minds, perspectives, and souls. In my opinion, that sense of communal learning is alive and well. We have wonderful opportunities to take advantage of the resources available to us to educate ourselves in ways many college students have never been able to before.
Tyler’s Hot Track of the Week:
Guster. The best. Words fail me. Song so good. Yes. So good. Until next week!