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Thursday, April 28, 2005



I think it's true that kids (and parents) see themselves as consumers, and college life as the product that they are buying. But to be fair, many colleges have residency rules that stipulate that students MUST live on campus and eat the cafeteria food. My college did. My college also charged the same exorbitant fee for my tiny dorm room as it did for my neighbor's larger room. I didn't save any money by sharing my room with a stranger, either. This isn't exactly a model of what housing is like in the real world. In the real world I would have shopped around for an apartment, saved money by having a roommate, and bought my own food (and catered to my own dietary needs in the process). If universities are going to act as landlords, then they should expect the same kind of market pressure that landlords are under.

I'm not sure why there can't be some happy medium in providing safe but modest accomodations for students. The point is not to create hardship OR luxury. This isn't summer camp where one is supposed to "rough it" with a sleeping bag and a can of bug spray, nor is it the Waldorf-Astoria.

One thing that bugged me is that vegetarianism was mentioned as evidence of kids being pampered and expecting -- how dare they! -- food that actually fit their dietary needs. Vegetarianism is an ethical and nutritional choice, not a symptom of being spoiled.


It seems like every generation is accused of coddling their kids. Even if the colleges spruce up their campuses, there will still be boring lectures to attend, texts to read, papers to write, and finals to take. I don't think any of my college luxuries did me any harm. In fact, they probably enabled me to do my work and learn to the best of my ability without having to worry about other things. In any case, everything's relative.

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