Getting a taste of college

By Eric Alcott
managing opinion

Most teens in Midland feel that it’s a boring small town with nothing to do. In order to find more entertaining activities, many high school students are resorting to going to colleges on the weekends. These students go for many different reasons whether it is visiting friends or touring the college while some go to attend college parties. Regardless of the reason, students can get a lot out of visiting colleges in their
spare time.

One student who uses her weekends to visit friends who are now in colleges is senior Lauren Moeggenberg. Moeggenberg has used one weekend to visit a friend at Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana.

“I went to my friend Nishi who graduated last year,” Moeggenberg said.

She is one of among many students who use these weekends to get away from Midland and visit those who she is close too. This is good way for students to keep in touch and visit friends that have gone away great distances to university. Visiting colleges in this capacity is beneficial for each student. In addition these types of visits allow senior and juniors to see what college life is really like.

“I can see what it’ll be like and prepare myself,” Moeggenberg said.

College tours often only give parents and students the side of the university it wants visitors to see. Visiting and staying with friends gives students a real look at what student life is like from living in dorms, social life and responsibilities that college students have. Junior Shreya Bahadur believes this to be a great advantage.

“It gives you a firsthand look at a college instead of them showing you what they want you to see on tours,” Bahadur said.
“Visiting a university can be a stressful thing. One is surrounded by people they don’t know and in a tour, the university can control what you see. The tour may not give a good indication of what life at the university is like. Staying with a friend and having them show what life is really like for a current student on a day to day basis could be beneficial and help someone truly decide if the university that is right for them.”

The great rewards of visiting universities can also be abused. Some students have used these opportunities to visit to go to college parties. One student who wished to remain anonymous uses their college visits solely to go college parties.

“When I go to colleges I go to parties where I can drink and no one really things anything of it,” Anonymous said. “Not many people do it here, so going away and being able to drink is fun.”

Using these opportunities to indulge in underage drinking is irresponsible and harmful. Along with harmful it is also illegal. These students have the opportunity to visit and truly gain a great perspective of a university, these students abuse this possibility. Some students believe that college life is solely revolved around drinking.

“Drinking is a part of college life,” the anonymous source said. “So I think it is fine to do it so you can get used to college life plus it is fun.”

While drinking may be part of some college student’s lives, it isn’t a part of every students. The chances of getting a MIP or being in some sort of accident are increased by going to these parties and trying to get back to their hosts room.

College students who are hosting high school students should realize that they are here to get a preview of the college, not to drink. They are considered the adult in control and should act like it. Letting their visitor drink is irresponsible and they should know better that both their visitor and themselves are breaking the law.

Colleges like Michigan State offer programs that allow high school students to stay overnight with current students. Students should utilize this before friends. Universities equip these students with information and training that will truly help high school students make an informed decision when considering attending a certain university.

A student using their weekend to visit a college they’re considering is smart decision. The manner in how they do it is vital. If they’re using it to party then they aren’t fully capable of making an informed decision on if the college is right for them. If they are using their time efficiently, this can be a rewarding process that will help them later when enrolling themselves in a college.

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