With the end of second term came the end of this year’s freshman studies course. As usual, the faculty sponsored a party for the freshmen and awarded t-shirts to all the students who completed the class this year. I heard one of the freshman studies participants complaining about the shirt given to her. Her actual words were, “I can’t believe I pay thirty thousand dollars a year for this ugly shirt!” As I reflected on this phrase, it occurred to me how absurd that statement is.She is not the only culprit of this offense. I admit that even I have been known to say such things (i.e. “I pay thirty thousand dollars a year for ______”). However, the majority of Lawrentians do not pay their entire tuition out-of-pocket. That money comes from other sources: scholarships, financial aid, and most importantly, the parents. So, to claim that one is out thirty thousand dollars a year, and that this great institution we attend is to blame, is asinine.
In addition, nowhere in the university literature is there an advertisement for a t-shirt (or lack of cable, problematic meal plans, poor athletic facilities, or anything else one wants to quibble about year after year). Individuals should be happy with what is available for the supposed thirty thousand dollars a year that is being paid. What we receive for that money is actually a piece of parchment called a diploma, marking graduation from such an esteemed university. All other experiences are just added bonuses. So remember: yes, even the seemingly negative aspects of a college career at Lawrence only add character. And that is what sets Lawrence apart from other schools, to make it a truly unique institution.