I wrote a column published in today’s paper about the dramatic change in college students’ standards of living in recent years. Here’s an excerpt:
I’m not that old, but I’m old enough to remember when going to college meant roughing it.
When I moved into Mathews Hall at South Dakota State University in the fall of 1997, my room was sparsely furnished. In fact, it wasn’t all that different from a prison cell.
As I recall, the room was tiny, with cold, tile floors and concrete-block walls. It had no air-conditioning and was outfitted with only the basics for its two occupants: two beds, two sets of drawers, two desks and a phone hookup. Our one luxury was cable TV, which I think we splurged for out of our own pockets. There was one laundry facility and one kitchen for the entire building. Both were in the basement.
Just 13 years later, things have changed dramatically. Going to SDSU these days appears to me like attending a four- (or five- or six-) year-long business convention at a luxury resort.
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