(From The Campus Lantern – March 21, 2013)
College, prison, and the military are all institutions that are supposed to be bettering citizens, but instead they confine people from the real world and make them dependent on others. All three institutions are extremely scheduled and plans are constantly made for the people inside. Colleges have certain times when classes take place for the students. There are events planned for the people on campus, whether they’re during the week or on the weekend. Prisoners are told when they’re allowed to bathe, sleep, and have free time. Even when they are given their hour of “free time”, prisoners only have a small variety of activities they can partake in. The military may be the most structured of the three. You are told when to wake up, go to the bathroom, and when to go to sleep at night.
For the most part, college students, prisoners, and people in the military don’t have to worry about what they’re going to eat. College students just go to their dining halls whenever they’re open and they’re fed. Prisoners eat when they’re told, but they do not prepare their own meals. In the military, in basic training you’re told when to eat, and once you’re on a military base, you eat at a dining facility – just like college. It is not necessary to cook your own meals in any of these institutions.
To me, it’s ironic that people go to college to get an education and prepare themselves for a real job at the end of the four years; that prisoners go to jail to pay their sentence for doing something negative in society and to better themselves for when they’re released; that citizens go into the military to fight for this country and become a role model – none of these institutions fully prepare anyone for what they’re supposed to.
I’ve witnessed so many college students who graduated and they haven’t even tried to get a job. College puts young adults in the mindset that in real life you don’t have to cook your own food or entertain yourself. College students think that it’s acceptable in the real world to go out partying every night and then show up late to class every morning. Most college students don’t have a car on campus – college even makes people depends on others for transportation.
I’ve also seen similar scenarios happen to people who were released from prison: They cannot function properly in the real world. I know a man who went to jail for ten years, and he was in his fifties when he was released. He no longer knew how to live on his own, so he moved in with his elderly mother, and he never moved out.
The military brainwashes individuals and turns them into robot copies of each other. I know people who are out of the military but they’re still in the mindset. They still organize their clothes like they did when they were in the military, they wake up at the same early time every day, and they eat meals at the same time daily. This is not a practical lifestyle in the real world.
Institutions – whether it is college, prison, the military, or something else – confine people from the real world. People need to simply realize that once you leave [college, or prison, or the military] things are going to be different. For some, this realization hits harder than others, so just beware.