Tuesday, May 7, 2013

NA Mythbusting Part Two: College=Drunken Partying

Welcome back to myth-busting, the New Adult version. (Sorry it's been a while.) Today's episode will take us away from red rooms of pain and pairs of shredded underwear, and creepy kinds of sex toys.
Blah. I need to scrub myself with steel wool.
Anyway, this week's topic is on cleaner grounds.
Now, college is a topic so large, so complex, that it will take more than one week to talk about.
(For all of you who are protesting about only one week of sex, we will revisit the topic, I promise. That was just introductory.)

And so.
MYTH/STEREOTYPE 2: Everyone between 18-24 goes off to college and parties like the world is ending tomorrow.

Whooo boy.
This week, in everyone goes to college myth busting, we will be discussing the 'partying like the world is ending'.
When playing word association with the word college, you get all sorts of different visions of college. I partially blame this on every movie ever that involved college students.

Fact: College is not necessarily a synonym for four years of drunken partying. There are people (actual, real, live people) for whom college does not involve any drinking at all.

Confession: I didn't go away to college. I didn't live on a college campus. I don't have to start quoting studies to tell you that my experience in college was a bit different (and my college 'experience' is a conversation for another week).

So please. Correct me if I'm wrong. For the population of people who do go away to college, it seems suspicious that there is never really mention of any college related activities in NA novels, besides the mentioning of frats and sororities on occasion. The way it sounds is that college is like high school, except for there is no prom (not that I had one in high school) and everyone lives on a campus.

As for the rampant partying and complete lack of doing anything at all?
Let's do some basic math here, k?
To graduate with a bachelor's degree, you need to take 120 credits. This takes on average four years to accomplish, with two semesters a year (not counting the shorter winter and summer semesters). Which means that each semester a person takes fifteen credits, which is around five classes. (And five classes a semester is not very common- usually a person takes four.) Each class runs three hours total per week, not counting any homework assigned for the class, nor any time to study for tests. That alone (now using twelve credits a semester, which seems to be more of the norm) means that not including any time but time actually spent in the classroom, academic life takes up thirty six hours a week.

Now, let's say, you are extremely lucky and don't need to work at all in college. That doesn't mean that the rest of your week is spent scampering around, frittering your time away. True, it's a definite possibility, and it is kind of popular, but any college student who is serious about getting not only an education, but the means to get a good job will be trying to find ways to pad their resume.
Interning in your field of interest is pretty common. And internships and volunteering take up time, as well. Most volunteering positions demand a minimum of ten hours a week for volunteering.
Being studious in college, being career-oriented means that free time is not as rampant as it seems in NA books.
That's not to say that there aren't college parties, and people don't go out with friends, and a general lovely time is not had, but perhaps not on the level that the media makes it out to be.

For  all everyone's talk of partying their way through undergrad, if they're telling you that while sitting in graduate school, they worked in undergrad. Chances are, they didn't sleep very much. They may have had a super fabulous time in college, but that's not to say they never did any work.

So! With that being said, let's discuss! Realistically, how many hours do/did you spend academically in college? And how much does it suck to sit through class with a hangover? And does it make me a total loserpants for never going to class with a hangover (because that would necessitate me getting drunk which has not happened ever)? It does? Oh well.
Big L on the forehead and such.

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