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Is College Just an Education to Incoming Students?

Why colleges should push beyond giving a good education

College is more than education. Through the lens of content, college would not be needed. Self-learning would suffice through the lens of content delivery. College is a space to take those that attend out of their comfort zones. College provides a new atmosphere, new people, and an opportunity to try new things. Often schools will help introduce you to these new opportunities, whether it be career fairs, interview preparation, or introduction to school organizations. Take advantage of this period to network, make new friends and build a lasting community.

There are different types of socializing in college, professionally and recreationally. College teaches you both. College is a time to grow as a young adult, and it comes with learning how to socialize properly. School gives students the opportunity to socialize professionally through career fairs as well as networking with peers and professors. Students can socialize recreationally through clubs and with classmates that share similar interests. These are great ways to build a community in college.

College is not just about earning your degree. The “college experience” is paired alongside it. The “college experience” is based upon what is essential to students. Students do extensive research on the college they would like to attend. Does this college have an impressive sports team? Are they big on social aspects such as parties? Is this college in a good location? The things that build upon the “college experience” are all social aspects. Students yearn to find a community that they can fit into. Students also can take into consideration the types of school that will best suit their career.

Those that do not utilize the community and network of college, may feel as though college lacked a crucial component for them. College has a social aspect in and out of the classroom. It can be from networking with your peers and professors to building lasting relationships within the community. These are experiences that make up your college journey.

As I reflect on my collegiate journey, I can relate to the feelings of lacking a community in college. My first semester at San Jose State University had been all online due to COVID. This mode of learning did not foster relationships outside the classroom. I was struggling to make friends my first semester. Ultimately, it felt lonely being at a new college without making any new friends. I felt like I was missing the “college experience” many boasts about. As my first semester ended, I set out to change this. Though everything was online, I put myself out there to find new clubs and build a community. Fortunately, I was able to do so. The gaming club on campus welcomed me with open arms. I was able to make new friends with similar interests. I was also able to branch out of the gaming club on campus to take officer positions for similar clubs. I am grateful for the community I have built at San Jose State University.

College will always be a place where more than learning takes place. Socializing is a crucial aspect. It gives those attending the opportunity to not only network and grow professionally, but also form bonds with peers and build a lasting community. College fosters an atmosphere to build bonds with people, whether in or out of the classroom. It can be your surrounding classmates or the opportunity to share a memory with your club. Schools should focus less on degree distribution, but instead about community building for their students.