May 062004
Authors: Liz King

My parents, who, of course knew more than I ever imagined they

did, were right. And so were my aunt and uncle. But heedlessly, I

went forth, headlong into the world of university academia. And

even though I arrived with over a semesters worth of college

credit, I was mired in the beauracracy that is any university (or a

large one) for five and a half years.

Did I change my major? Well once and just to a different

concentration in the same school. Did I transfer? Yes. Did I study

abroad? Yes. Do I have more than one major? Yes. Should any of that

have kept me in school for the time that I was? No.

So what does this have to do with graduation?

Just this: the principle of what you get is what you pay for,

which is so vaunted in our capitalistic system but does not apply

to your college education. Do not believe that everyone on campus

is looking out for your best interest. They aren’t.

My journalism advisor kept me going to school for another

semester simply because her advising was incorrect. Did the

journalism school take that into account when I asked for the

courses that I had taken to be counted for the ones that were

required? Well, I know you all know the answer to that.

My time at Colorado State University was, however, not ill

spent. There are professors who taught me things that I am grateful

for. Among them are John Gravdahl, Bob Coonts and Kim Ferrar in the

art department and Patrick Plaisance and Jim Landers in the

journalism department.

However, the biggest lesson I learned here is that you must

ultimately be responsible for everything in your life. Your

advisors largely don’t know what classes you are supposed to take.

So know them yourself. Your majors and the professors in them will

not teach you everything you need to know about the field or fields

that you are going into. So go beyond the school and get real world


Most importantly, realize that school was largely a long,

tedious game. Don’t gasp. How many of you graduating remember even

half of what you learned in your general ed classes? Very few I

bet. Most of us learned how to take as many classes as we could,

cramming for most tests in the last hours before we were to take

it. Is this learning? Is this what we paid for as our


The wise will take lessons from this into the new lives that we

are about to start. Make sure that what you are about to purchase

is indeed worth the price. But realize what is the true price

before you make that assessment. Surround yourselves with people

who are supportive and most importantly honest, like my parents who

warned me that college would be less of the paradise that I thought

and more of the disappointment that I experienced.

Be proud of what you accomplished. And remember life is much

like CSU, without the proper view on things; it will be a long,

tedious game to get through. But life is too short for that.

*Liz King is graduating largely because of her family. She will

have two degrees and has already started what she hopes will be an

inspiring career in print design. She would like to thank her

parents, grandparents and God for giving her the strength to make

it through.

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