College ‘lost its luster?’

Has the college campus lost its luster? The college campus contains the most able-minded group of individuals with the greatest prospect to create innovation and initiate change. These individuals exist as the most powerful threat to the system.

However, it appears that the college scene has evolved. The free-loving, free-minded revolutionaries seem to have been replaced by a career-oriented and much more media-inspired society.

The world works differently now. No longer can we act how we did when we were young. As Bob Dylan said, “When you got nothing, you got nothing to lose.”

Even at our ages, it appears we have our future to lose, because society frowns on the individual who does not complete higher education. Risk, faith and inspiring leadership can mobilize people to accomplish great things.

But how can we attempt to take part in things like rallies, protests and peace movements when we are so pressured to “make something of ourselves?” Now, it seems the only way to make something of ourselves is through a grade, a dollar sign, a title and a diploma.

I do not suggest that we are robotic, but we are pressured so incessantly to become something great. It does not even matter what it is, as long as we are important and appear to be well off, we are considered to be OK by society.

The reason for this may lie in the prevalence of the middle class and the relative appearance of wealth in the hands of more people. Possibly the reason is the technological revolution that gives people the illusion of better living conditions, and certainly more media distraction and possessions to covet.

Somehow these factors and others have caused individuals to aspire to attain the rich life. Fifty-five percent of youth in America said they believe they will be rich one day. If more than half of us believe we can be rich within the system, why work to change it?

Not to say that the college campus provides no inspiring ideas, but more of a group consciousness could never hurt. The campus will always remain a place of inspiring innovation, earth-shattering research and free thinking. I simply suggest that we all elect to be a part of that side of education as much as we do our formal one.

Maybe I do suggest an optimistic nostalgia, but nonetheless I suggest we make a conscious choice to create the future rather than simply exist in it. It is undeniable that we are not just the future. We are the current that washes in waves of innovation, attempting to cleanse the world of its misgivings. By floating along we can survive, but we will not fully live.

Information from – Bill McKibben’s “Deep Economy”