At Home in the College Bubble

This week’s blog post is written by Bryan Corbaz, a junior studying political science at TU — and the youngest member of this year’s research seminar.

Endless muted music videos on repeat from 7am until 7pm; the same happy faces of students from across the country on parade throughout the day; senseless news about celebrity discords and petty arguments. Such is the norm for students who dine at the cafeteria at the University of Tulsa. One thing that used to be part of this norm were a handful of students reading a newspaper. However, this is no longer the case as newspapers have become the latest casualty in the search for a pleasurable college experience.

Living on a college campus, it is easy to become engulfed within the bubble of the university. As knowledge and learning have slowly become secondary to the college experience, many schools have begun to focus their attentions on becoming aesthetically pleasing. The college campus has transformed from a center of academic debate to a center of enjoyment.

From MTVU being on most screens in the cafeteria to t-shirt after t-shirt being handed out at every school sponsored event, it seems that knowledge has become a commodity. To sell the product, schools must be nice and polished; no jagged edges and little regard for real world problems. The imperative of being challenged in one’s beliefs has ceded precedent to the desire for a “good time.” Is a small yellow piece of cloth bearing a university logo more important than the possibility of reading about the world outside of the college bubble? This does not seem to be the case as non-collegiate publications are no longer offered on campus.

For most students, college is a home away from home. It is a homeland wherein students can learn about themselves and prepare for their future career. However, like any good homeland, college should not simply be a place to relax and enjoy oneself. Home is also about development and learning. It provides people with the challenges necessary to becoming a fuller person. It is the setting where people face opposition and adversity, but also the place where they learn to overcome such challenges. It must not be forgotten that although home should be a safe place, it is also a place that is safe to learn, change, and grow. College campuses today have become a less successful home in which students can develop. Nowadays, college has become increasingly synonymous with having a good time and making memories with friends. Although these aspects are an inherent part of home, colleges are failing in their duty to push people to face and overcome obstacles. The college bubble is detrimental to students in the long term as it is charged only with being comfortable. Students are now more than ever entrapped within a home that fails to provide opportunities to grow intellectually and be challenged.