College life has changed over the years. From technology to Starbucks, there are many things that college students now feel they could not live without, many of which were not accessible, or even invented, for past generations of college students.
While most students thought social media and technology were things college students couldn’t live without, junior Dylan Johnston argued that coffee is becoming increasingly more important to students.
“I don’t think college students could live without coffee,” Johnston said. “Most students not only grab a cup of coffee before classes even start in the morning, but also grab coffee in the afternoons as well.”
Moving toward technological advances, sophomore Kadyn Harris said social media and other school programs help her stay organized.
“I’ve noticed that almost all social or extracurricular groups use either Facebook or Remind 101 to send out announcements or reminders for important events or basic information,” Harris said. “It would be so difficult to not have social media to keep tabs on friends, Facebook and Remind 101 to stay updated on extracurricular activities, and even Canvas and Google Drive to keep my school work organized and submitted in a timely manner.”
Harris said she cannot imagine going through college without the technology that we now have to assist with school work, as well as daily activities.
“Another thing that is really useful to me is my Alexa,” Harris said. “Every morning she wakes me up and tells me the weather, so that I can get ready and prepare for the day ahead. It also functions as my speaker in my room when my roommate and I are studying or cleaning.”
Similarly, multiple other students said they could not live without social media or technology.
“I don’t think I could live without my computer,” sophomore Wesley Coleman said. “While having conversations with my grandma, she told me that when she was in college, the closest thing they had to a computer was a typewriter, where there was no delete button. If your grammar was bad, like mine is, you couldn’t just make corrections. You would have to start all over.”
Senior Phillip Walker said that whether we see social media as a good or bad thing, we can’t argue that it has dramatically changed college life.
“I think that social media, while being both helpful and detrimental to our mental health, has completely changed the college experience,” Walker said. “We still have a campus community, but I think the mystique of a college campus has diminished greatly compared to what past generations experienced. Social media has provided a fluidity to our social lives that has weakened students’ connections to their campus communities, but much of what we do now would not be possible without it.”
Lisa Fuller, student success librarian and assistant professor, said she remembers her time in college without modern technology and the effects it has had on education, specifically within the library.
“With research projects, we were primarily limited to resources we could find in our own library, and we used print books as sources for most academic work,” Fuller said. “When we needed journal articles, our search began in print indexes … We learned special codes to decipher the information in the indexes and began our hunt for articles, hoping that Harding had the journal in print.”
Fuller’s previous experience with research makes her grateful for the current methods used by library systems.
“Technology has made credible, academic information more accessible than I could have ever imagined,” Fuller said. “It is a game-changer … I am still a lover of good, old-fashioned print books, but I am thankful for the ease of access that technology has provided.”