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From this preliminary background survey, I include all the responses to question 13 as an interesting way of gaining a composite picture of the students in this class.

13)  To conclude, please specify and elaborate on an analogy or metaphor for college that is especially meaningful to you. In class today, I indicated that for me college should be a "learning community."  What would you say? How would you fill in this blank.  College is a __________.  Be as descriptive as you can: college is a prison, college is a picnic, etc.  To help, if, for instance, I asked you this past weekend to fill in the blank in this sentence, what would you say: "Returning to college is like going to ____________." Be sure to elaborate on the reason for your choice.

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I think of college as some kind of Buffet Bar, some kind of all-you-can-eat restaurant.  There's so much being offered right in front of you, and you've got a plate of knowledge to fill up.  You have to make decisions about what kind of foods you want to eat (like what kinds of courses to take), and whether you want to eat healthily, or just pig out.  Yet, not everything at that buffet bar is going to fit in your stomache, so you can't try it all; just use your best judgement and figure out a solution.  

College is a mountain.  College is a tough process that must be met with tenacity and courage.  It is always an uphill battle.  Sometimes it evens out for a little while so you can catch your breath.  Sometimes it climbs uphill steeper and steeper until it seems you cant climb any more.  The task is better if you have a few climbing partners. Sometimes you stop and see the most amazing view.  As much work and effort it takes to make it through college, the view from the top of the mountain always makes it worth while.

College is an artist.  I see college as a universal artist so to seak.  It is a builder, painter, dramatic performer, etc. College reshapes peoples minds, making them recognize themselves and their potentials.  The learning aspect builds a person into someone better than they were before, enabling them to go out into the working world.  Aside from the mind, the artist can change people physically.  Some get stronger, some weaker.  Some people change their hairstyles and clothes, while others retain thier familiar look, which serve as the artists "elegiac" piece I guess. Drama is also an element of everyday college life.  The freedom the inhabitants have allows them to express a variety of emotions, interests, and habits that are like a show put on for others to see.  Two students fall in love, another gets stressed out and breaks down, and yet another gets introuble for underage drinking.  It is a constant performance put on by well known entertainer.

although i am not roman catholic (and even if i were i believe the pope said it no longer exists anyway) i am going to have to go with PURGATORY.  we are neither free nor captive, rising or falling... we merely wait, and wait, and wait for our four years to be up so a decision can be made about where we're going and what we're doing. and in the mean time college is choc-full-o-life lessons.  infact i would go so far as academically speaking i am no more intelligent than i was when i graduated high school, BUT as far as maturity goes and making life decisions, i have learned volumes.

Returning to college is like going to work.  Hehe a quick way to get out of that one.  It is fun I guess, but there is also a lot of work involved in it. I'd say at times there is a lot more work than fun.

College is a challenge.  You have to learn about yourself and others and how you can interact/ or sometimes not interact to be able to succeed.  For example mangagment of classes/time/fun/extracurricular activities.  If you don't overcome the rollarcoaster ride of good and bad there is no point in being here.  It is about knowing who you are, what your capable of accomplishing, and where to set your limits.

College is a mini model of the world.  Though it is "diverse" ethnically, like the world, college is only as much as you can take out of it.  There are lots of different people and things around to experience, you just need to keep an open mind and try not to hold any preconceptions.

College is a bubble.  Here at Lehigh its easy to forget that everyone on the planet is not 20 years old.  Its easy to forget the bloodshed in the Middle East.  Its easy to forget that mom and dad aren't awake at 3 a.m to answer a study question and its easy to forget that children are starving in China.  Life here is so harried and hectic that its tough to see the "big picture" sometimes.  Thoughts of tests, papers and week parties can easily consume one's thoughts, leaving no room for serious issues.  I frequently find it helpful to turn on the evening news for a reality check.

College is a rollercoaster.  It has its ups and downs, but in the end, no matter how wacked out you may feel, you'll be ok, and you'll be glad you went along for the ride.

"Returning to college is like going to a circus."  There's a lot of juggling involved, some clowns, lots of shit to deal with, and if you mess up there's no safety net.  But all in all, you'll probably have a good time.
 College is like any song written by Jimi Hendrixx or Robert Plant.  Your experience starts off with a soft note, or a crash from the drums.  Rushing a fraternity, your life is spiraling up, down, and all around South Mountain, and you start to feel good from the vibe that meeting new people creates.  You grow familiar to the melody of the Goosey Gander- esp. the chaos that lurks in that joint around noontime- and you grow and mature as a student as the semesters and verses roll on by.  Relationships come and go, as does the chorus line in any great rock and roll song.  First semester of senior year arrives too quickly, and you realize the time created by this unique experience is coming to an end.  Jimmy Page's tireless fingers say its time to move onto the next song, the next phase of life, whether it be graduate school, traveling abroad, or settling down with a career/job.

"College is a snooze button on the alarm clock of life."  Because it is.  You still get obscenely drunk at frat parties and develop giggly crushes, but at the same time you've accrued knowledge, usually developed a solid personality from your formative years and gained maturity to such a degree that you're not a child any longer.  Like a snooze button, college is a short break in between the dreaming that goes in childhood with the understanding that reality is just around the corner (usually about 9 minutes away depending on the alarm clock...but in the grand scheme of things, 4 years of college passes by juussst that quickly). =D

College is a great experience.  Learning from each other and about myself is what it's all about.  I really enjoy the experience the freedome and learning to be on my own and formulate my own world view.

college is a learning experience.  I would say this because most people have to learn how to survive on their own, how to budget for themselves, not only money but time as well.  I think that each year for me has had a little bit of a different feel and you need to learn to adapt to that.  you need to learn to adapt to changes such as roomates, girlfriends and breakups too.

College is like a friendship.  You only get out of a friendship what you put in.  You will get great things out of a friendship you are dedicated to, but a neglected friendship will produce nothing worthwhile.  In a successful friendship you will be challenged and criticized, but it helps you develop into a better person.  College requires the same dedication as a successful friendship.  If you commit yourself to making the best of your college experience, you will be challenged and criticized, but you will also be a better person because of it.  If you neglect your college experience, you will be no better off at the end of it than at the beginning.

College is a limitless fountain of useful and pointless knowledge if one opens their mind to it.  Every thing about it is great for the experience of being on our own and choosing how you want to live your life and plan for the future.

Returning to college is like going to your safe haven where you can live in peace from nagging parents and do what you want...It's like being an adult.

College is a hard workout at the gym.  --Cause you don't really want to go, becuase you know its going to be a lot of work.  And you can't see the benefits for the workout/college right away.  But you know in the end, you'll benefit from it down the road. And yoiu feel accomplished after you finished.

College is a training facility.  In college you learn new skills and abilities that you were unable to master during your years of schooling.  Thrown into a world in which one's parents, teachers, and peers are no longer available to babysit a student to make sure he/she completes all assignments.  One must adapt and take care of his/her own responsibilities or risk being left behind by the competition.  We as students go to college, not only to take classes and graduate, but to train for life outside of school.

College is a laboratory for experimenting and hypothesizing the future.  College is a relatively closed environment in which students are continuously presented with various issues and problems.  From these issues, students form hypotheses about themselves, their lives, their society, and their future.  Based on what they know or what they have learned through past experiences, the students can predict what they believe will happen.  The hypotheses are then tested through experimentation.  Whether academically, socially, or possibly in other ways, students are constantly experimenting in order to figure out their world and themselves.  These experiments then lead to conclusions based on their results and observations.  In this way, students are constantly learning and applying what they have learned at college in order to discover the truth about themselves, their future, and the world in which they live.

College is an ocean.  College is a sea of dreams and opportunity.  The waves of the ocean represent levels of challenges and endeavors that everybody faces throughout their collegiate experience.  The tides and currents symbolize the obstaces faced, while a sandbar signifies calm waters and relaxation.

It sounds cliché but college IS like a box of chocolates- I feel like I have been affected by so many positive and negative experiences that have come to be a part of my daily life.  Whether it's with friends, class, family, living arrangements- I go through every day wondering what is going to come next.  Some of it we can plan for and work towards and some is just in the cards.