There is a strange sense of detachment from the rest of the world in a college town – as if we live in a bubble with the "real world" waiting beyond. It's like we live in a parody of this thing called real life; in our world the community is populated by a nearly uniform age group, where work takes the form of school on weekdays and weekends are a whirlwind of activity that doesn't end until the hazed early hours of the morning.
At first, I thought this isolated nature of college life was a bad thing. We're cut off and generally unaware of what is happening outside the limited confines of college. For a simple and recent example, we only need to think of the campus-wide fascination with last Friday's date, 11/11/11, which took precedence over the national holiday, Veterans Day. People seem more concerned with wishing for class to end and the next party to start than nationwide events and news. The more I started thinking about this the more I realized just how wrong I was.
While it's still slightly disorienting seeing anyone below the age of 17 or above mid-20s (professors aside), this campus has more connections with "real life" than one might think. Yes, college kids have a reputation for being caught up in themselves and oblivious to anything not directly pertaining to them, but there is a large portion of the student population where this couldn't be further from the truth.
Worldwide causes such as Invisible Children and breast cancer research find droves of support on campus. Events can be found almost daily for various causes that students are so passionate about that they will devote hours of their already limited spare time.
Consider Occupy Wall Street, which set off similar protests nation- and worldwide. Geneseo is hardly an exception. Occupy the Green set off arguments across the school, forcing us to think about the state of our country and evaluate our beliefs on what direction we need to be heading in. We are all affected by the decisions signed into law in the White House and we are more than aware of that.
Even at the university level, we take an interest in the rules dictating tuition, course requirements and so on. Cut programs led to mass student organization and protest. Even if the "Save the Arts" campaign of last year was not a success in terms of returning lost programs, it proves not only how invaluable student involvement is but also just how determined we are to have our voices heard.
A college campus is more a microcosm of the real world than an entity separate from it. Sure there are those students who forgot to cast their vote on Election Day or have no idea who the possible republican candidates are in the 2012 presidential campaign. There are those exact same sorts of people outside college. Yes, we may be more inclined to count macaroni and cheese with Mountain Dew as a meal than those outside college, but our involvement with the real world is no less.