Touch of Flair: The bonus to living in Southern Utah and attending Southern Utah University (SUU) is that you have several national parks nearby; including, Zion, Arches and Bryce Canyon. How do you like that part of your college experience?
Collin: “It is a dream come true! I have been able to do so many sports outdoors such as rock climbing, caving, hiking through slot canyons and hiking in between broken rocks. I have gotten to climb the harrowing Angel’s Landing in Zion National Park; that was an incredible experience! Attending SUU has provided many opportunities to go outdoors since the university takes advantage of its great location and ensures easy transportation to the parks for its students.”
Touch of Flair: Now that you have attended college for two years, what do you think could be improved in the system?
Collin: “Definitely making college practical! College seems to be geared toward those who either want to return to the education system for employment or take a job in a research field. The issue I find is that we have placed such an emphasis on attending college no matter what; education has lost its practical application of gaining you experience in your future field of work.
The bachelor’s degree has become the new high school degree. A majority of people get their bachelor’s degree because they consider it a national standard or they want to stall out finding gainful employment because they haven’t decided what they want to pursue for a career. Additionally, people flock to a college because they are told it will make them more money. The fact is, if you never put your degree to use you won’t gain monetary profit from it.
Consider that if you obtain a degree in a field you are disinterested in, you will be stuck in that field paying off student loans for a lifestyle you truly didn’t want.
Maybe you would be fortunate in that field and make a lot of money? Except wouldn’t you rather make money in a job you enjoy than a job you hate? We need to ask these questions in high school and not wait until college. You can make a good life for yourself without ever stepping foot on a campus.
We need to depart the mindset that we are valued by a degree; instead our value should be shown in our actions of hard work, dedication and practical ability and intelligence.
The fact is, you can make a good life for yourself without ever stepping foot on a campus.”
Touch of Flair: What is the positive side to college, in your mind?
Collin: “The people you get to meet in college are one of a kind. College opens the door to meeting a wide variety of young people; this allows me socialize with others who I may not have gotten the opportunity to meet if college had not brought us together. There are a lot of friendly people here at SUU. For example, I have asked for help with studies from my friends and when they said they didn’t know the answer, another student would speak up from another table and politely offer to help.
College allows you to meet unique people, as well as travel around the world with new friends.
You can travel anywhere in the world and have a place to stay and know exactly where to go to enjoy that country.”
Touch of Flair: What has been the most memorable experience you have had in the past year?
Collin: “I have been able to go on so many adventures in Southern Utah and that is because of the friends I made. I have been able to create the strongest friendships in college than I have ever been able to create before.
The biggest thing I will be taking away from college is the adventures I go on with my best friends and how they remind me to be the uplifting spirit in someone’s day.
You learn that you can change someone’s whole outlook on life by being kind. Never lose your smile.”
Touch of Flair: What advice would you give to up and coming students graduating high school?
Collin: “Figure out what you want to do before going to college. If you don’t know what you want to do, just commit to an associate’s degree or consider if your possible field of interest requires you to obtain a degree at all. Weigh the benefits of attending college versus getting a jump-start in your career. For example, the ultimate career I want is in aviation, which does not require a degree. So why am I here attending university? Eventually, I want to get a commission with the United States armed forces and fly for them. To receive a commission, I need a bachelor’s degree; that is why I am here.
Before you graduate high school, analyze what you want your future to be and decide for yourself how to make that happen.
Don’t let other people set your path for you.”