Okay, so: It’s almost the end of your second week. If you’re lucky, you’re only buried underneath a small mountain of homework, and your first test is late next week. You’ve gotten at least eight hours of sleep (since last Monday) and you only have a mixture of class/work/meetings from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. If you’re lucky.
You’re beginning to think “Is this worth it? Is my degree in [INSERT DEGREE HERE] going to pay off?”
Fear not — it isn’t. Even the most lucrative of degrees (those of us in the finer arts, naturally) will still be buried for the next one-to-four years under homework, and then exorbitant, ever-swelling amounts of debt for the next 30-100 years after.
“I should have gone to trade school,” said no one ever, despite its higher ratio of cost-to-life-earnings compared to that of a university education. “It’s not too late to drop out,” said everyone ever, despite the rules that say you’ll still have to pay back that debt even if you don’t finish.
Suck it up, buttercup, because you’re stuck here. In the meantime, allow me to bloviate upon MSU’s finer points, and hopefully you’ll be distracted long enough to forget you’re chained to this university for the rest of your life.
First and foremost: It’s a land grant university, which means… something. It’s been pasted around campus approximately a million times, so it must be important. Surely the university wouldn’t waste money on constant reminders of this were it not part of our core as an institution (other parts of our core include: funneling money into the engineering programs and nowhere else and erecting large, abstract sculptures under the guise of supporting the arts in lieu of actual support).
Second, residence life at MSU is a huge plus. The dorms (excuse me, residence halls) smell of only the finest cheap beer and illicit, smoky substances and cost more per year than my parents’ rent for a three bed, two bath house in the suburbs. They’re loud, nauseatingly fetid and staffed by RAs doing their jobs for the equivalent of about $4.75 an hour for their 24/7, 30-week-a-year occupation and are there primarily to make sure that all the underage drinking happens off campus.
The dining halls serve food groups homebrewed by MSU specially for its students, which are as follows: salad bar (mostly edible, often addled with stray hair), meat (tough, good source for jaw workouts), dessert (surprisingly delicious) and other (pizza, butter-soaked veggies, etc. ad nauseum).
Finally, perhaps the best part is the education itself. Only top-notch learning happens here. MSU is a Carnegie Research Institution, which means even as undergrads students can toil away in laboratories across campus, underpaid and underappreciated, for “experience.” Isn’t that nice?
That’s to say nothing of the non-research side of MSU. Our humanities programs, run on a budget of “whatever the administration found between the couch cushions,” has a writing center, and an occasional class taught from a non-western perspective about things outside of Euro-America.
You won’t find a better-funded, more loving university than MSU to get your education at, so why not stay? Is college worth it? Maybe not, but will it result in a piece of paper to give to your employers to prove you know how to be a part of capitalism’s subjugated workforce, so that you can work until you die of exhaustion? Absolutely.