Final Letter from the Editor
College is such a unique experience that so few people around the world get to experience. Tim Philbin, a philosophy student from the College of the Holy Cross, writes about the tremendous unspoken privilege of a college education. “Somewhere in the midst of complaining about homework and studying all night for a test,” Philbin says, “remember to consider how lucky you are.” According to a recent study by Harvard and the Asian Development Bank, only 6.7% of the world’s population hold a college degree. And despite the overwhelming cost of a college education, the US Department of Education reports that obtaining a postsecondary credential “has never been more important”. Obtaining a bachelor’s degree or the equivalent will generally earn graduates up to 66% more than those with only a high school diploma. And over the course of their lifetimes, college graduates will on average earn up to $1 million more.
But I would argue that there are far greater incentives to going to college than just future salaries or the prestige of education. College provides us with a unique opportunity to make lifelong friends and to grow as individuals.
“Friends 4 Ever” isn’t just a phrase we write in high school yearbooks or carve into trees. It’s a life lesson we learn over and over again, particularly through college. Something about struggling through difficult classes with a community of like-minded individuals - the late nights at El Cam working on homework; the frantic study sessions before an exam; or troubleshooting problems in Sapling or (for those of us that remember) Mastering Physics/Chemistry - helps us to develop bonds of friendship that are not easily broken. In fact, one of the most difficult things about graduating from college is saying “Goodbye” to the friends you’ve lived in community with for the past four (or more) years. College provides us with an opportunity to grow as individuals, both in stature and in maturity, before we are forced out into the world to live “on our own”. College teaches us to think critically about situations and helps us to understand people from other backgrounds and walks of life.
If I could offer one piece of advice to underclassmen at New Mexico Tech, it would be this: your studies are important, but don’t neglect fellowship with your piers. In my opinion, the number one reason why people drop out in college is because they don’t have a community of friends to struggle with. So join a club, make a study group, have movie parties. For me, InterVarsity was where I’ve developed my closest friendships. You won’t find a more inclusive, loving group of people anywhere else on campus. But whatever your callings or interests are, pursue them.
Just remember: YOGTCO - You Only Go To College Once. Be brave! Do what you wouldn’t normally do! Let college be a time for you to grow and to become the person that you want to be! And do it with friends!