College: A Whole New World
I love talking with my newly graduates about their future. We always have great conversations about options, course selections, time management, self-advocacy, etc.
High School graduates are often excited about college for many reasons. Recently, a soon-to-be graduate talked about their future and the freedom associated with college. He called his future academic setting a "free world." To the student, a "free world" meant time to explore on his own, endless educational choices, no definite rules set by parents, and ongoing social outings.
His ideas reminded me of a Disney Song sung by Aladdin and the Princess Jasmine during their magic carpet ride in the movie, Aladdin. In the song A Whole New World, Aladdin depicts what the princess can expect in a life of freedom with Aladdin as "A new fantastic point of view, No one to tell us, "No", Or where to go, Or say we're only dreaming, A whole new world, A dazzling place I never knew."
These lyrics sound just like my student's ideas of a college setting, right?
And yes, college is a whole new world. Students have a new set of freedom with endless choices, which many have never experienced before 18. My student was exactly right about his idea of a "free world." However, living in a "free world" comes with expectations! Thus, I had an opportunity to discuss what freedom in college can mean for students.
Freedom In College Means That Students:
Face many moral and ethical decisions
Need money to meet necessities.
Manage time to be successful.
Decide which activities to participate in as well as courses to study.
Advocate for oneself in the classroom.
Responsible for work and assignments even if the professor chooses not to grade them.
Meet professors during scheduled office hours.
Be attentive and class (ie, listen and take legible notes.)
Choose friends that will help you grow and succeed.
Freedom in college represents service, integrity, social justice and respect. Choosing to live in a "free world" is a lifestyle that allows for lessons and celebrations. But, no matter the freedom of college, one thing is certain, you should call home. Let your parents hear your voice and see your face often. They spent a lot of time and effort helping you gain your freedom!
If I had to make an assumption, I would assume that most students see freedom very similarly as Princess Jasmine and Aladdin do "with new horizons to pursue." I could not agree more with my student. College is precisely that: new horizons to pursue and a "free world" in many ways!