I do a lot of ranting my school newspaper, often not even in the opinion section. I complain to my friends and family about the injustices served to me by my beloved university, Georgia State. I have been known to bitch endlessly about everything from Album 88, the radio station (which, I’d like to contend right here and now, is overall a great and innovative station), to the godforsaken financial aid problems, to the Signal – the school paper for which I write.
It’s a habit we all get in sometimes: we’re on a roll with some legitimate complaint and find ourselves a week later whining about some entirely unrelated topic just because we’ve turned on the bitch switch and forgotten to shut it off. This article isn’t like that. I thought it might be time to get a little non-sarcastic, stop delving so far into a semantic debate that I can’t tunnel my way out of, and give my school a little – gasp – well-deserved praise.
As a transfer student to Georgia State, I came from a very liberal artsy school full of paper-writing and philosophy classes. While that’s wonderful for some people, I view college as my opportunity to prepare for my future career (public relations) instead of a venue to get a broad understanding of a lot of different subjects.
I miss the writing I used to do at my old college, but I have found that, for true writers, you shouldn’t have to be forced to write on a teacher’s deadline to find an outlet for that passion. I also know that, for my purposes, there is no better school I could be attending right now than Georgia State.
Going to a large school offers me and other students the ability to be specialized in something, be it public relations, ceramics or southern literature. That will be a huge asset to many students when we enter the so-called real world and look for jobs. I know how to write press clips and how the media works, which is something smaller schools could never offer because they simply don’t have the necessity, much less the funding.
Along with my major, I love the fact that Georgia State forces its students to be independent. Most of us are commuter students, and many live on their own- even have full-time jobs. For the most part, Georgia State students are not spoiled and we understand the value of hard work. In a lot of ways, I think that makes us appreciate our education that much more. We are not the society of Hummer-driving, completely parent-funded, often lazy students that much of the media portrays college students as being. While this certainly isn’t true for the entire population of Georgia State, I would venture to say that a majority of us are not like many of the students you’d find at colleges. We know what we’re doing; we know where we’re going. The lack of community, for which we’re always chided, is a blessing in disguise: we forge our own paths when we have no one to lead us. We make our own way when there’s no crowd to follow. We reach our goals when we have no one to fall back on.
There are so many opportunities at this school, and those who do in fact long for a community can easily find one at Georgia State. I have found my niche at the Signal, which has welcomed me with open arms. Others find their places at Album 88 or the Baptist Student Union. The Rec Center sponsors awesome trips and events: I just returned from a one-day, dirt-cheap ski trip on which I met the only other person at this school with my last name and made another friend.
Georgia State’s gym is amazing, and once I finally got my lazy ass down there this semester (my third at Georgia State), I was able to realize that we have, included in our student fee, something for which people in the “real world” pay thousands of dollars a year: a top-of-the-line gym, free fitness classes and rock climbing, among much more.
This may sound like some paid ad placement for Georgia State, but it’s not. Much like “Annie Hall” was a love letter to New York, this is my small effort at a love letter to Georgia State. Like most lovers, we have our all-out brawls. I scream at Georgia State for forcing me to take four upper-level classes before I can receive credit for an internship, and he responds by bumping me and a few thousand of my closest friends out of our classes for not paying on time. He tells me to kiss his ass by making me take the asinine Regents test and screwing up my transfer credits; I write a nasty article about it in the paper. Any student at Georgia State knows the laundry list that any number of us could rattle off about what sucks at the school. However, I truly do, in an honest and almost creepy way, love my school. I feel absolutely blessed to be a part of it.