For math teacher Jordan Showalter, college was one of the best experiences he has ever had. He grew up in a rural town in northwest Missouri with a population of 300, so attending the University of Missouri-Columbia (UMC) was a defining change in his life, which he remains grateful for today.
“I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I enrolled in a major university like Mizzou,” Showalter said. “It took me a while to adjust and find my footing on such a huge campus, but once I did, I loved it.”
Showalter spent five years at UMC, earning a degree in mathematics education. He was active in a fraternity, a member of the Mizzou Waterski & Wakeboard Team and was involved in many more activities in his time as a Tiger.
He acknowledges his experience at UMC was unique to himself and believes there is no defining way for a student to live a fulfilling student life. Devesh Kumar, a 2016 RBHS graduate and a sophomore at UMC, learned this very quickly when he became a college student.[quote]“Prior to coming to college, I was in the mindset that there will be a lot of drinking and college parties that I will be peer pressured into,” Kumar said. “I was always under the impression that I had to act and be a certain way and the social caste system in high school will extend to my college experience. All these things we hear about college, however, are wrong because there is no one typical college experience.”[/quote]
Students who enroll in certain majors might have to live a more academic-heavy college experience, which senior Alex Geyer plans on doing. Geyer will attend the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Medicine as a part of the six-year Bachelor of Arts/Doctor of Medicine program they offer to prospective medical students. As a result, he will receive a significantly accelerated medical education, which he realizes is going to take a large amount of dedication.
“It’s necessary for me to be focused on my classwork because I am completing eight years of college in just six. However, I will have a great group of students in the program that will work together and become a great support system,” Geyer said. “I do plan on taking it easy on the weekends and hitting the town. Everyone has to have their time to unwind.”
When he isn’t studying, Geyer plans to engage in hobbies that he personally finds fulfilling, and would rather not get seriously involved in the party scene.
“During the week when I’m not in class I will likely be hitting the gym, studying in my room or studying with a group of fellow students. I think the partying is overhyped. I would rather enjoy myself with a small group of good friends and explore someplace than get wasted at a frat house,” Geyer said. “All colleges are different and lead to different opportunities. All students should experience what they are comfortable with and not be pressured into doing anything that doesn’t fit their personality.”
Geyer, Showalter and Kumar hope students take the time to find what is important to them rather than get caught in pressures to engage in certain activities.
“The college experience will be unique to each individual based on your major, what activities you choose to get involved in, how involved you choose to be, and whether you live on or off campus. However, I think if every student found at least one or two activities or organizations that they were passionate about and got involved, I think they would find more meaning and purpose in their college experience,” Showalter said. “Academics are obviously priority number one, but it’s difficult to get engaged and meet people in a classroom. You have to find other ways to get plugged into the social environment of college.”