On the road

IT’S AN OLD truism that the college experience constitutes a “very special time” in all of our lives.
Some of us will remember our time in college with respect to our boyfriends, girlfriends, fiancés, random hookups or any other sort of significant other.

Some of us will frame the chronology of our experiences in terms of our vices and addictions. What this group might remember most about their time here are the flashes of lucidity between bouts of intoxication and the spring of their sophomore year as the semester of “Sober Wednesdays.”
Some, oddly enough, will remember their time here by the classes they took.

As I enter into my last year as an undergraduate, I suspect I will remember my tenure as a student here in terms of the progressive disrepair of the school.

Roads that once lead into campus are in shambles, showing little indication of being navigable anytime in the near future.

Parking, while always difficult, has become a crapshoot with increasingly depressing odds.
Just mentioning the library is saying enough.

It’s an apt metaphor, it turns out. The journey through this campus, as with the journey to this campus, has been progressively fraught with pitfalls and obstacles.

My first semester on this campus, life was good. Driving to campus from my house, north of the school, was a straight shot down Chestnut — a drive I could do (and indeed may have done, once or twice) in my sleep.

For more than a year now, developments (I hesitate to call it “construction”) related to the Campus Pointe project have rendered this sort of journey little more than a pipe dream.

I remember my first big research project, wandering through the library, standing face-to-face with real, tangible, dust-mottled books.

Now, all we have is “Millenium,” the online catalog for the library. I think the title is supposed to sound futuristic, an attempt to divert attention from the archaic reality of our current library — that we are dependent on a runner to retrieve our books out of the thousands housed in some secret, underground bunker on the edge of the city.

Simultaneously, classes now pose a greater challenge than ever before. Major classes — while more engaging — are understandably more rigorous than general education courses.

When I began here, I needed only to complete my assignments on time and devote minimal attention to my professors in order to succeed. Now, I’m faced with the dual challenge of doing my assignments on time and doing them well.

And yet, these campus construction projects and the increasingly difficult classes both offer the promise of something greater in store for the future.

The library, despite the inconveniences we face now, promises to be the largest the CSU system has to offer.

Campus Pointe promises to enrich the campus both culturally and financially.

And while the current closure of Lot V is bound to pose an even greater threat to students trying to get to class on time — at least once this semester — the project promises to be a major step toward a “greener” campus.

At the same time, the diploma we’ll eventually receive promises to make us experts in our areas of study, to free us from minimum wage jobs and to secure us some amount of respect we’ve been thus far denied.

It’s all just a little further down the road.

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