The college culture of comfort: Remember, it ends after graduation

Mar. 14, 2016

Joe Hollmann
jhollma3@uccs.edu

For traditional students who live on campus, college can be a complete and utter luxury.

Your parents might pay for school, you never have to maintain your room, you eat food you don’t have to cook and you attend a few classes a week.

Students fall into the culture of college comfort and don’t realize how easy life is right now.

We need to take a moment to appreciate the opportunity we have.

This is one of the few times in life where you are free from responsibility to other people. No spouse. No kids. No siblings or parents you are obligated to spend dinners and nights with.

You might have a job on campus working 10 hours a week that gives you a chance to sleep in every day except for that 8 a.m. class on Fridays you regret signing up for.

Meanwhile your laptop, smartphone and Xbox One provide the entertainment for the hours you have to kill between classes.

You’re also living at a school where some of the brightest and most successful people in the region teach, research and exchange ideas.

Yet, there is still discontentment.

There is drama with your roommates, or the dining hall food is subpar (probably a legitimate complaint), or your intro level business class has a boring instructor.

But your week is consumed by comfort.

Whether it’s the fact you can go four days in a row wearing the same pair of sweatpants, or that you can go lie down on a warm bed in a warm room after eating warm food cooked for you by people with warm smiles, life is generally pretty easy.

Almost all the amenities of life can be reached in a 10-minute walk. There is a Rec Center you pay for but probably never use. There are clubs and organizations you can get involved in, but are never quite sure if it’s the right fit for you.

For a few years, we are engrossed in becoming educated, experiencing new hobbies, meeting new people and developing our deepest beliefs and convictions.

We have an incredible freedom to explore and experience life in a way few others ever have the chance to, and this opportunity probably won’t ever come again.

Yet, for many of the residents, there is an entitlement to this opportunity and luxury.

Don’t waste this time complaining. Don’t waste these years consumed by comfort.

The seductive power of comfort says that it will always be this way.

But in just a few short years, bills and car payments and nine-to-five jobs will cascade upon the college bubble, shattering the illusions of comfort and simplicity.

It’s easy to get sucked into the culture of college comfort, because it’s encouraged.

Tour guides on campus emphasize ways in which you as a college student can be comfortable. Weekend partying is only a thing because you have the luxury of forgetting all responsibilities for a night.

But the world is not a comfortable place. There is injustice out there. There is exploitation out there. There is actual hard work that needs to be done out there. There are people who won’t care one bit about you.

Take this luxury and use it to become involved. Take this time of comfort and make it uncomfortable by sharing life with people you don’t normally share life with. Take this time you have been given and go serve others.