The Death of the American College Experience

American Colleges and Universities, with their sprawling campuses and buildings are not what they once were. Dormitories full of co-eds partying, gossiping and maybe even studying are now staying at home for a variety of reasons.

The cost of the university experience has gone up considerably year over year. Since 1980 the cost of going to college is up 1200%. Is it because college professors are getting paid more? No. It is more administration! Sited in Forbes, in 2014, instructional costs were about 148 billion and administrative expenses were 122.3 billion. Interesting! Yes, in 1980, only 26% of the cost of a college education was administration.

Technology

Another reason for the death of the American College experience is technology. While it was necessary to go to college to get an education, tech has made it possible to get lectures online and have no relationship with a campus. There is no need for campus life. In 2019, at least 33% of students were attending at least one course online. With the events that have transpired in the last few years, that number is certain to climb.

When I attended college in 1999, the fastest connection was on the college campus. My home still had dial up internet, but we had a T1 connection at school which enabled me to download music on Napster at super quick speeds. Now, college students can stay at home with their quick internet in their own bedrooms and stay in their pajamas while zooming their professor’s lectures. No need to eat nasty cafeteria food, mom’s cooking is just downstairs. And Uber Eats can easily deliver to your house, instead of your dorm room.

Health Paranoia

Outbreaks at colleges have always been an issue, and that is now even more at the forefront of everyone’s minds since 2020. My college had an outbreak of meningitis right before Thanksgiving my sophomore year. Where massive people congregate, use showers, eat, sleep and unfortunately sometimes sleep around, there will be outbreaks of disease.

With people staying in their own homes, there is less of a chance for outbreaks. It is not necessarily going to be nonexistent, but diseases break out when people shower in the same places and congregate. Warts, athletes foot and other nasty fungus were also common in our bathrooms at our schools..

At home, you can clean your own bathrooms and make sure your kitchen area is clean and sanitized, where shared spaces aren’t always as clean.

Will this be the end of Campus Life at American Universities?

Teenagers once reveled in getting away from home and experiencing life in a new town or city. But, more and more kids are choosing to stay home, do online school or even commute. Harvard Business School moved their MBA classes online to curb an outbreak and other schools keep wavering between online and in person classes. Many families do not want their students sitting in rooms all alone. Solitary situations for these students have been terrible and so families have opted to keep their students home instead.

What do you think?

Do you remember Olestra?

If you were a kid in the 90s (or an adult) you might remember WOW chips. The chips that had a food additive to replace fats in home and commercial uses.

Approved for usage in 1993 by the FDA, by 1996 the FDA started to put warnings on food products in 1996 for gastric issues that were caused by eating foods with Olestra. Unfortunately, people who ate food with the Olestra didn’t just suffer issues when they ate those WOW chips. Anything they ate during around the same time caused issues too. If the person ate an apple, meat, or any other good food, the good parts of the food were not absorbed. People eating Olestra chips not only had gastro intestinal issues, but also started suffering vitamin deficiencies as well.

The FDA hasn’t rescinded Olestra as a legal food additive, however it has been shown as detrimental to those who have eaten it.

Why do I bring up Olestra? Because the FDA often approves and keeps things on the market that are not beneficial.

From the FDA website:

Although FDA does not have premarket approval of food products, it has the authority to approve certain ingredients before they are used in foods. Those include food additives, such as substances added intentionally to food, and color additives.

Companies that want to add new food additives to food are responsible for providing FDA with information demonstrating that the additives are safe. FDA experts review the results of appropriate tests done by companies to ensure that the food additive is safe for its intended use. An approved food additive must be used in compliance with its approved uses, specifications, and restrictions.

Using Our Own Common Sense

WOW chips caused a lot of havoc on the bodies but yet it was a feel good thing. There are so many other “feel good” things out there that we deal with every day that may be “approved”. There have been many drugs throughout the years that have been FDA approved and later rescinded. According to a CNN report, one third of the drugs that FDA approved between 2001 and 2010 were later pulled from the market because of safety issues.

Olestra was just a big, poopy mess of the FDA’s in the 1990s that was let loose on grocery store shelves, but the FDA marches on with a horrible track record of approving things that aren’t suitable for mass consumption.

The Rental Society

Renting a car for a short term use or renting a home is a normal phenomenon in our society. You’ll see skyscrapers in many of the cities across our country full of rental apartments and in the suburbs, you’ll find plenty of homes ready to be rented for those who may be looking for a new home. Car rentals make sense for the on the go passenger who wants the freedom of travel without the hassle of calling for a car service

But our society has changed to fearing any type of commitment. While there is sometimes a reason to rent things, some of these things are kind of crazy!

My husband and I were talking about different types of rentals the other day, and I was stunned at the things that you can rent nowadays. One of the companies you may be familiar with is Rent the Runway. No need to purchase clothes when you can rent them.

Dating

You might need to Rent the Runway when you rent a date. Not feeling courageous enough to tell mom or dad that you haven’t found the “one” yet? Well, no worries, you can rent a date! Or, feeling like you can’t make it on your own at a social event? You can now rent a date instead!. I know that there are jokes that prostitution is one of the oldest occupations, but this takes a slight spin on this, while implying that it is just for impressions and not for anything more than looking good in front of people.

Personal Cuddlers

Did that date not suit your fancy? Well, you can get a little more intimate without getting intimate! Have someone hug you by renting a personal cuddler.

Animals

Want a furry friend without the hassle? No worries! You can rent one of those too! I truly worry about the animals that have to go through this craziness as animals do like schedule, certain smells, a safe space to feel at home. This just feels like animal abuse to truck an animal from one home to another.

Paparazzi

While you have your rented pet, date and clothing, you can also hire people to follow you around to take pictures of you. Make sure you put on make up. Is that rented too?

A crowd of people

That crowd of people waiting for you, you rented them too! Can you imagine having all those people fawning over you? Well, you paid for them!

Mourners for a Funeral

Was your family member a stinker, but you don’t want to let anyone know? Well, you can rent people to make them (or you) feel more important than they were.

Line Holders

Want the latest iPhone, new game or whatever is on your list? You can rent someone to stand in line for you. Renting a human has never been so easy.

Rent a Pool

Yes, you can rent out someone’s pool for a pool party. This sounds like a liability waiting to happen for a homeowner.

Rent A Yard

Don’t like the dog park? You can rent out someone’s yard for your dog to play in all by themselves! Make sure you pick up after your pooch!

Rent a Driveaway

Not sure where to park? Well, you can rent someone’s driveway so that you won’t get towed!

Rent a Tire

Don’t want to pay for new tires of your car? Well, you can rent them! Not sure what happens when you get another nail in that tire and have to replace that one too!