College life could be overrated

As college students we often use social media as a way to exaggerate our lives to seem way more fun than are in reality.  After they choose the perfect filter for their selfie, no one will ever know that freshman Courtney Esch and senior Miranda Levy are wearing nike shorts and tennis shoes when they post it on instagram.- Kelley Joe Brumfield/Printz

By: Morgan Milburn

I cannot tell you how tired I am of hearing how college is “the best four years of your life.” Don’t get me wrong; I realize I am lucky to have the ability to get a university education. Only 28.5 percent of adults in the U.S. have a bachelor’s degree or higher according to the United States Census Bureau. Though I do have a good time, I am hoping this is not as good as my

life gets.

It doesn’t seem that I’m the only one that feels this way. Though TV shows and movies show college as almost nothing but parties, hookups and good times, the reality is that a large number of college students have a tough time. In fact, a high number of students report feeling depressed at one time or another.

Thirty percent of college students reported “feeling ‘so depressed that it was difficult to function’ at some time in the past year,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. That’s almost one third. How are so many people feeling this way when they are supposed to be having the time of their lives?

It makes sense that college is difficult. For many people college is the first time they have lived on their own, been away from childhood friends, worried about money or had to manage a difficult academic course load. All this new responsibility can certainly lead to high levels of stress.

Adding to the issue is Facebook. Though social media can be a helpful tool for keeping in touch with family and friends in different cities, it can also make you feel like everyone else is having “the best four years of their life” that you are supposed to
be having.

Anyone with Facebook, or any form of social media, knows that people tend to put only positive things out there for everyone to see. So all you see are the good things happening in people’s lives. It is nice to see good things happening to your friends, but nothing can make a bad day worse than seeing everyone else having the time of their lives and wondering why you’re not.

Part of the problem is that while the expectation is that college will be the best four years of your life, you are bound to be disappointed at one time or another. I know I had incredibly high expectations for college. Halfway through my senior year of high school I started a countdown to when I would move into my college dorm.

Now here I am in year three of the “best four years of my life.” I have always been incredibly independent, and in that sense college is fantastic. I have met many amazing people, had the opportunity to travel and grown a lot as a person, but I have also had to turn down fun nights out in order to stay in and do homework, missed my friends and family and at times felt exhausted both physically and emotionally.

We need to start thinking about college a little more realistically. Like every stage in life there are good and bad parts; new friendships that will last for life, drifting away from old friends, fun parties, sleep deprivation, freedom, finals, the list goes on and on. So, though college is great, please stop saying it’s supposed to be the best time of my life.

This is an article of opinion written by Printz Reporter Morgan Milburn, [email protected]