FROM THE EDITOR: Savannah Nelson
FALLING INTO PLACE
The first few weeks of school are always emotional. Sometimes students feel a rush of excitement as they make new friends, other times there’s a lamenting haze over classrooms as people realize that summer fun has slipped out of their fingertips, replaced instead by fall responsibilities. My first day on Auraria Campus was met by an unexpected rush of emotion: I felt old.
I’m in my senior year at a commuter college, where ages range anywhere from 18 to 80. Clearly, at a ripe 21 years old, I fall at the younger end of the spectrum. I am not old. Frankly, I am not very wise either.
As I walked away from my parked car at the Walnut lot, I was swallowed by gaggles of freshman hurrying to class, trying to sprint from the doorsteps of CVA to North Classroom. Their excitement was matched with my annoyance. I caught myself thinking that maybe the cheap parking wasn’t worth the social effort.
In that moment, I noticed the youth of my sidewalk companions—their vivacious energy. Juxtaposed, here was my own drained temperament. Only three years have passed since I was one of them, nervously chatting to the person next to me about where my class was located, or if they thought that showing up 15 minutes prior to class was early enough. Where has that fervor gone?
There’s a short answer: I’ve been through a lot. My time at CU Denver has been typical of most—we go through strenuous courses and load far too many credits with far too much homework on our backs, and deal with hours of academic stress on top of the pressures of adulthood. I’m not alone in feeling tired or beaten into a state of “let’s just get this over with.” Veteran students tend to have a contemptuous air about them, especially compared to eager-faced freshmen.
While it’s easy to be consumed by our own cynicism and camouflaged privilege and the hardships we’ve faced as hardpressed victims of academia, I implore us all to be better. Instead of rolling our eyes when youngsters get lost on campus or judge newcomers for being too excited, let’s learn something instead.
Being a college student, regardless of level, is an immense opportunity. It’s time to embrace our power and remember the thrill of learning, regardless of age. Maybe, though, we can leave the giggling out of the classroom and save it for the dorms.