Students growing up faster

However cliché it sounds, college life is a time to meet people, develop relationships, try new things and generally enjoy the last four years of sheltered life before making the leap into the real world.

The first two years of university life should revolve more around college as a unique experience, instead of being dedicated purely to studying.

The last two years should focus on gaining useful job experience for life after graduation.

This divide might sound pointless, considering college students are adults and should be able to make their own decisions.

Unfortunately for today’s generation of college students, the amount of pressure placed on us to bolster our resumés throughout our four years of undergraduate study acts as an unavoidable hindrance to our remaining years of youth.

I’m not trying to say that our nation’s college populus should buy beer instead of textbooks.

If we do not enjoy ourselves now, however, we might find ourselves regretting our decisions when we are left to fend for ourselves in the “real world.”

Though I by no means consider myself an excessively proactive member of my class, I still managed to secure an internship, join the club ice hockey team and start my own student-run film production team by the end of my freshman year.

I have loved the experience I’ve gained from these activities, but when my schoolwork is piled on top of all of this, I end up with little or no free time to simply enjoy being in college.

I am only a sophomore, yet I already feel like a seasoned veteran of the workforce.

I am constantly overworked, held sleepless and forced to guzzle unhealthy amounts of caffeinated beverages  to complete all of my work.

Once midterms come around, I enter a semi-conscious caffeine-induced stupor.

The only times I get to relax and spend time with my friends are the few minutes between closing my textbook and passing out on the third floor of Leavey Library.

This needs to stop.

College students are almost obligated to sacrifice the last few years of their youth if they want any chance at finding a job after graduation.

According to one MSNBC article, one in five college students endures stress all or most of the time.

If college students do not attempt to reclaim their youthful bliss now, their work ethic will fizzle out when it actually matters: post-graduation.

With the help of the USC community, I am confident we can reclaim our waning youth.

Though most of this reclamation has to come from the individual, perhaps the college administration can make a strict divide between freshman/sophomore students and junior/senior students.

When students are inundated with “Career Day” and “Internship Fair” e-mails seemingly every day of the week, it is only a matter of time before any normal person’s conscience kicks in and youthful bliss turns into forced corporate grind.

If USC’s administration were to send these career-enhancing opportunities to just juniors and seniors, allowing freshman and sophomores to sign up for e–mail notifications at their own discretion, students would be more likely to enjoy the full  college experience.

Meanwhile, if such a policy were enacted, students will not be forced to deal with the gnawing sensation that we should be constantly enhancing our future careers. Instead, we can take time to wholeheartedly enjoy the college experience.

By encouraging underclassman to limit their extracurricular focus to strictly on-campus activities, USC could help students break from the stress’s grasp during the four years that should be the most enjoyable of our lives.

David Morris is a sophomore majoring in English (creative writing).