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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“The UA: love it, live it or leave it”

In comparison to much of the student population of the University of Arizona, my scholastic journey has been a little off the beaten path. From seventh through 12th grade I attended the same school: Northland Preparatory Academy in Flagstaff, AZ; a humble school that, for my first year, was housed in a building which used to be a strip club.  (And is now a church.) 

Imagine my surprise, no, my awe, when I walked into my first-ever collegiate class, a history lecture that was bigger than my entire high school. The sheer enormity of the teeming masses of bright-eyed students seeking the same scholasticism was as impressive as it was overwhelming.

A few weeks later, I then came to realize that approximately half of my fellow Wildcats sought inebriation instead of education, and were far more often red-eyed than bright-eyed.

This is not meant to be a condemnation of that particular part of the college experience.

College is what you make of it. If you want to be a hermit and never emerge from your dorm room, save to trek to the library at night, then you can. You want to be a party animal and never go to class? Guess what, you can do that, too. But the bottom line is that if all you’re looking for is a place to get drunk and make bad decisions, then you shouldn’t be here. Plain and simple.

If UA students spent half as much time lamenting the sorry state of education in Arizona as they did the UA’s omission from Playboy’s top-10 party schools list, then maybe there would be hope to affect the kind of change most accept as a necessity. Maybe if students viewed their student government as a halfway legitimate entity, rather than a black hole from which no amount of money can escape, than the Associated Students of the University of Arizona could have the legitimacy to represent students in a constructive manner.

We all have to deal with the rising cost of tuition, the ever-burgeoning fees and the unpopular program hikes. Most of us accept these as an unfortunate, but inevitable occurrence in our journey to a four-year degree. But with each additional dollar that is tacked onto our bursar’s bill, the question becomes more poignant: what is your college education worth to you?

This year, I will pay upwards of $20,000 — $6,000 in tuition and $14,000 in living expenses — for the privilege of attending this fine institution. If I were an out-of-state student, the figure would easily surpass $30,000. If you view college as a means to support your partying habits, then please feel free — no, feel obligated ­— to take your money, rent an apartment off campus, and drink to your life’s content. Not only would you be free from tiresome expectations, but you also would probably save money in the long run. 

I don’t know about you, but I sure as hell didn’t plan on spending four years of my life and thousands of dollars of my money so that people can snicker when I mention that I attend the UA. I see the debauchery, the douche-baggery, and the dilapidation of the mind, which occurs on a daily basis here, and every single occurrence is another brick in the wall I have to break through in order to combat the overwhelming sense that, upon receiving my degree, I will have regretted my time here.

So the next time you’re staggering down the Mall, filled with booze and bereft of dignity, think about whether or not you have a legitimate reason to be in college. If you have to ponder that question for more than a few seconds, then the answer should be clear. 

— Luke Money is a journalism junior. He can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu

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