More than just a party school

As summer continues to sizzle on the vacant ASU campuses, spending time with friends from high school acts as a sharp reminder that there’s a little more to life than my university.

Six weeks into the summer, I’ve run into a number of friends who are attending universities across the nation, bringing their tales of ridiculous adventures in the dorms and interesting teachers in the classroom.

Every time I hear these stories, I think the same thing:

There is life outside of ASU?

Yes, a completely crazy concept to most collegiates who get so sucked into the routine of their college campus. This reminder is not only a shocking one, but also an important one to keep in mind.

Sometimes the stress of the school day seems so incredibly overwhelming — trust me, we’ve all felt that wave of “my life is over” at some point during the school year. Whether that’s triggered by grades, club obligations, significant others or petty friend drama, it consumes us, leaving us in a state of despair until we reach the weekend.

After talking with friends who’ve gone to school outside of the ASU community, these meltdowns don’t seem as extreme or overwhelming. It’s a refreshing reminder to hear about those who are also pursuing a higher education as they go through a completely different type of college experience than myself.

Six weeks into summer, I’ve also come to appreciate ASU that much more. A year ago, I had high hopes of leaving the state, dreading ASU because 80 percent of my high school always went there.

Now, I couldn’t image myself anywhere else.

Yes, ASU doesn’t get the best reputation. Google us and the headlines read about parties, drinking and unfortunately accidents. But this campus is much more than that.

A partnership with ASU and Starbucks now offers tuition reimbursement for Starbucks employees that earn their degree through ASU’s online programs.

The W. P. Carey School of Business’s Small Business Leadership Academy and the Salt River Project are working together to help small businesses get a foot in the door.

Students are around the world completing internships and fellowships, making a mark in the industry of their major and proudly stating they’re from Arizona State.

The ASU community is a hard-working group of individuals who have impacted my life in just two semesters. From the friendships I’ve made that I know will last a lifetime to the faculty who have placed me on their list of priorities, being supported is something I’ve yet to go without.

But most importantly, and this is something I think makes ASU one of the best schools in my unbiased eyes, ASU is there for its students. At the end of four years, I’m confident that I will not come away with a piece of paper that says I passed my classes, but a true sense of personal accomplishment.

Too bad this side of ASU doesn’t make headlines.

Reach the columnist at or follow her on Twitter @BeccaSmouse

Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.

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