Opinion: College students are people, too



Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber

Elaina Sauber is a sophomore English major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

I find it funny when older adults say our generation has no respect, self-control or consideration for anything but ourselves. Let’s take a deeper look into that statement. First and foremost, I’d like to ask who made us that way. Where did we learn such disgusting habits? I do not intend to wage a war between the young and the old; however, it is the lack of accountability of the older generation that is teaching our generation the same tricks.

We are people — you, me, them, everyone. But sometimes, I don’t feel like a person — I feel like simply a college student, expected to do college student things with a college student mentality.

Most of us are old enough to vote, use tobacco and buy lottery tickets. Only some of us are old enough to drink alcohol, but everyone does anyway because we are in college, and we continue to be stuck in the college student stigma.

Did it ever occur to you that many of those who made poor choices at College Fest, ruining it for everyone else, are alcoholics? Did you ever think that the kid in the library asking you where he can find some Adderall is addicted to amphetamines?

College students are still people — very vulnerable people, I might add. We are subjected to a high-pressure environment with incredibly easy access to addictive and often illegal substances, and yet I have never heard of an organization on campus that addresses these issues.

We have Pure Romance parties in the Student Center during Sex Week, but we must go off campus to find an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting. Since we have no student groups on campus that deal with understanding addiction, people who do have a problem have no safe outlet to discuss or even acknowledge it.

Addiction is considered taboo at our age; we’re simply having fun and getting it out of our system. If that’s the case, then what were you expecting to happen at College Fest?

I’m not saying that everyone who was there is an alcoholic, but there is no way you can tell me, with a straight face, that the people chucking beer bottles don’t have a problem with alcohol.

But my point here is that older generations have taught us that addiction does not apply to college students. We have very limited outlets to seek help with addiction because it’s so easy to dismiss our actions as just “having fun.”

Therefore, I am not surprised nor displeased with the actions that took place during College Fest — I hope it is the wake-up call that students and parents alike need in order to understand that we are people first and college students second.

Instead of complaining about all the senseless, drunken college kids, we must first understand that some of them are dangerously at risk or are already struggling with addiction. Only when that fact is accepted can changes be made.

I leave you this semester with the words of Noam Chomsky to think about: “The general population doesn’t know what’s happening, and it doesn’t even know that it doesn’t know.”