Joe College used to be the earnest, ambitious undergrad who was grateful for the GI bill. Nowadays, with loans, scholarships, and rich parents, Joe College is everybody – from the daughter of a mechanic to a movie star.
College used to launch you into adulthood, but now you could almost say it’s set up to prolong adolescence. Just ask George W – according to Maureen Dowd he’s still indulging his inner frat boy. How else do you describe an institution that cultivates fun and free love, provides three square meals a day and 24 hour internet access, and frees you from curfews and parental restrictions? Yours for a hundred thousand bucks, books not included.
All that fun does come with its own anxieties and pressures, though. There’s the freshman 10, midterms, nightmare roommates, and learning what the delicate cycle on the washing machine means.
(Hosted by Christopher Lydon)
Tom Perrotta, Author of “Election” and most recently, “Joe College”