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Elderly invasion?

April 15, 2011

By Lauren Robinson, Opinions Editor

Photo by Karen Rodriguez

It’s Friday night. I am about to go to a concert with my friends. However, what you don’t realize is that the combined age of my friends is 300. As a college student, I look forward to the weekends where I can go dancing at a club with friends and let go of the week’s stresses. However, I do not take any particular interest in doing the Charleston or The Twist. For goodness sake, I’m a college student. That does not tickle my fancy.

If you look around campus, you will notice a surprising amount of attendance from elderly people in the community. Weekends seem to be a time where they migrate to campus and the actual students seem to make an exodus elsewhere. The crowd at any given event held on the weekend consists of people that have salt and peppered hair, and that may have retired or live in the community. However, on the contrary, college students should be at school, doing things with people their own age.

When you think of college, it is usually not associated with mingling with people that are older than your parents or grandparents. I am in no way saying that hosting the community or alumni is a negative thing, it is just quite unusual for a college. Young Harris College hosts the ICL Program, which helps senior citizens become computer savvy.

It’s almost as if there is no confidence in our peers. If you were to visit Georgia Tech or UGA, there is school spirit. People who are proud of their school and tend to show up to events, whether they are on weekends or weekdays. That is what college students do. The fact that we are in college inherently means that we stay on campus to get the “college experience” our parents rave about. It does not make sense that the parking lots are empty by Friday afternoon. Because we attend a small college in the north Georgia mountains, it is more difficult to find something to do because we do not live in a  major city. But that is no excuse for the pathetic atmosphere you can cut with a knife on weekends.

My challenge to you is to take some initiative in what happens on campus on weekends. The senior citizens in the community attend campus events more than the actual seniors do. They have already been to college and it’s quite pathetic to have more in common on weekends with people that have already lived the majority of their lives.
This post copyedited on April 18, 2011.

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  1. Bek
    April 21, 2011 at 10:03 am

    I found your post amusing, as it bleeds immaturity while also raising a good point.

    As an alumnus of YHC and someone who grew up in Young Harris, I can tell you that Towns County, Union County, and neighboring Clay County in NC have long been a popular retirement area for senior citizens. That being said, it was a great idea for the college to serve its community by offering ICL courses to retirees. (And the ICL Program offers much more than just computer science courses.) The idea of ICL was to give back to the community in which YHC is located. One of the tenets of Methodism and Young Harris College has always been service to others, which is certainly what ICL does.

    You are correct in stating that students do not stay around on campus when the weekend arrives. This has been the case for decades. I find it amusing that students still find Young Harris “boring,” yet there is now a movie theater, a Wal-Mart, and a McDonald’s nearby. I can’t imagine how they would have “suffered” had they attended YHC in years past. There should be more time spent on campus in order to get the most out of campus life. Unfortunately, young people don’t find enjoyment in the simple things and all the beauty of nature which Young Harris has to offer.

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