“How’s college going?”…..The staple question of winter break.

College PicWhether you went to UMaine in 1865 or 150 years later, you’ve heard it many many times: “How’s college?” It’s inevitable, especially during the holiday season. The holidays are a time of family gathering, when relatives and friends catch up with one another and search for interesting topics of conversation. Since returning to campus from winter break, I wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard my fellow students say: “ I wish had a dollar for every time someone asked me about college….”

Whenever I hear students make that statement it seems to be accompanied by an eye roll and a sigh. They all act like Dustin Hoffman in The Graduate, sulking on the verge of annoyance. As if it’s some sort of burden for students, especially freshmen, to be asked about their college experience by their family. I, on the other hand, could not disagree more. For once in my life I have legitimate, mature, relatable information to share with family members. And it’s tremendous!

The college student is a person of great fascination to people at family gatherings. People are always watching the college student, trying to figure out whether the parents are allowing him to drink underage with the family and, if not, eyeing what he’s putting in his stein in case they’re questioned later on by an angry mother. I imagine family members are running some kind of underground pool to bet on my GPA. “60 to 1 he’s not on the Dean’s List.” “Ha! You’re on”. They all flash a smile, but in the back of their minds they are inevitably wondering whether I’m high on reefer, as if I had told them earlier that my roommate is Seth Rogen and my horticulture professor is Snoop Dogg. Rush PIKE, Grandma. Rush PIKE.

People love to talk about college. If they’re not in college yet, they want to know what it’s like. If they’ve graduated, they’re full of nostalgic stories about their college experience. The topic of college as a whole binds us together, and yet because each college is unique, there are always different stories and perspectives to consider.

Now that I’ve moved on from high school, I no longer have to remind everyone each Easter that I am playing center field for the 12th year in a row. I can now, in addition to discussing dorm life, etc., discuss politics thanks to my Politics in American Government Class. I can discuss the geography of Maine thanks to my Geography of Maine class (actually that’s primarily with my father who, lest we forget, hung a map of Orono in my dorm room to remind me that “you are in fact living on an island, son.”).

College students are viewed differently than those in high school. That’s not intended to come across as a statement of injustice. I fully agree that the structure and guidance of high school is very necessary and beneficial. But college seems to be the first time we’re really considered and expected to be active and educated members of society. Professors speak to us as though we’re on the same level as them, and teach with voice and diction that is their own and not a “teacher voice.” It’s cool to have the opportunity to learn about topics that are directly relatable to real life. It has certainly elevated my ability to have mature conversations.

Not only do people want to talk about the college experience, but they also expect you to be at the age where you can form opinions and talk about adult things. As a journalism student, I have to read the news in depth every day, which has made me realize how important it is to be an informed citizen. In order to have an opinion, I need to be informed. It’s all part of growing up and being a part of society. Obviously The Bachelor is my foremost topic of conversation (man, Prince Farming likes to snog em). But after I’m done discussing that weighty topic, it’s nice to be able to discuss the real world around me.

NOTE TO MY 15-YEAR OLD SISTER: This in no way is a declaration of my complete and utter maturity. I will still throw snowballs. I will still challenge you to milk chugging competitions. I will still make fun of every boy that you mention. I will still fart.


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

About "Fill The Steins": A multimedia platform devoted to providing an informative, entertaining forum that celebrates "the college of our hearts always" and its graduates' contributions to academics, athletics, and popular culture, as created by alumni and students, for alumni and students. FTS is not affiliated with the University of Maine or UMaine System and does not represent the views or opinions of the university in any way, shape, or form.
Copyright © Fill The Steins

This blog has been archived

This blog has been archived and is no longer being updated.