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Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

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BG Falcon Media

The BG News
BG24 Newscast
November 30, 2023

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Changes of college life may impact home, family

We all imagine the way the holidays used to be. There was always a Christmas ham to feast upon, many beautiful presents under the tree, maybe even chestnuts roasting under the open fire. I know that’s what I expected.

But for many of us, and even a portion of the freshmen, home just isn’t home anymore.

It’s almost taken for granted among millions of families in America that college is the right move to secure a good future.

After all, no one wants to work in a factory for the rest of their life. But what no family sending their children to college considers is the necessary changes that happen because of college.

For at least four years college students are bombarded with mandatory classes, a completely new atmosphere and types of people you’ve never seen before.

Even for the most stubborn student, these things are hard to ignore. For me, coming from a small town, the difference in atmosphere is huge.

A college town, for instance, has coffee shops, clubs with live bands, theme dance clubs and more than four stoplights.

The most significant change in atmosphere, however, is the abundance of students. The truth is people in college by and large have chosen to be in college, and thereby have chosen to be students.

Even the most neglectful of students learn a thing or two in a classroom. The amount of learning one does, however, may have some adverse effects.

Maybe you went home fresh from political science class.

You visit mom and dad during Thanksgiving only to realize that they don’t know anything about the recent election. Or, suppose your parents are like mine, and you realize that your parents are racist. Isn’t this fun?

As the old saying goes, “You can’t come home again.” It’s scary how often this is true. The differences between the ‘you’ who goes off to college and the ‘you’ who comes back can be very staggering. These differences may not be the way I say, they may be completely new.

Think about all of the things you’ve learned in your life before college: George Washington was the first president, two and two is four, the difference between a lake and a sea.

These are things that may or may not affect your life on a daily basis. It’s quite different, however, to start thinking about ethical concepts you’ve learned in your lifetime. These maxims like: never tell a lie, treat others as you would be treated, etc. affect your life in its entirety.

As I mentioned before, the college atmosphere is quite different from the atmosphere at home.

For many students, the change in atmosphere equals a change in world view, attitude or philosophy.

When these students go home, they are actually different people.

Now, because the primary way of communicating with people is through conversation, the changes in someone’s personality becomes all too apparent.

Changes may take form in such diverse areas as what interests you, or even as powerful as what god you pray to. For many families, these changes are not acceptable.

But what is a student to do? Surely, I as a student, do not want to stop learning for the sake of what my parents have to say.

Yet, the eternal dilemma creeps up: but I’d kind of like my parents to accept me. For most people, the parental bond is something of sacred fiber.

For others, it’s simply a bond of convenience. It’s very hard to look someone in the eye, tell them you don’t believe in their god, then ask for a place to stay during Thanksgiving break.

But is this not what college is all about? College is supposed to be a time of change, a place where we all decide our respective futures and commit to a future as a changed person. It’s all too human that we forget about the repercussions of these changes.

So here, right now, we’re all faced with a choice: to learn and grow, or to stay in our own safe, little worlds. Remember though, you can’t come home again.

Send comments to Chad Puterbaugh at [email protected].

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