Going to college should be fun, it’s a vital part of the experience. However, as Jackson Toby of Minding the Campus reports below, the idea of fun has become so pervasive that some students think it’s the only reason to pursue higher education.
Majoring In Fun
When Isaac Newton went to the University of Cambridge several centuries ago, he studied seven days a week, at least ten hours a day, and actively avoided the revelry that some Cambridge undergraduates engaged in even then. No one expects American undergraduates to work as hard as Isaac Newton or as medieval monks. However, what seems to be happening on many American college campuses is the development of such a powerful “fun” culture that a quarter of the students or more arrive thinking that having fun is the main reason they are at college and that the pursuit of knowledge should be resorted to only when they have nothing better to do.
Unlike students who work for pay during the academic year, where they must submit to employer supervision, students who do not take paid jobs have a great deal of freedom. Although they are supposed to study, they are not compelled to study. Moreover, if they live in campus dormitories or in off-campus housing rather than commuting from home, they do not have parents supervising their comings and goings.
American college students were never subjected to the rigorous discipline administered to recruits at the Marine boot camp at Parris Island. Yet before the campus rebellions of the 1960s, most colleges supervised not only classroom behavior, such as attendance, but also student life, including behavior in the dormitories. Administrators and deans, if not professors, believed that they were acting in place of parents.
However, student life changed in the 1960s and 1970s. The doctrine of in loco parentis was discarded in deference to student rights. Nowadays, those students who live at college are free of most external constraints.
Read more at the link below.