Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.
The Editors share their favorite (but not necessarily wisest) quotes about college:
I was dropped by New York University because of bad marks. I was a film major. —Woody Allen, 1987
Colleges are like old-age homes, except for the fact that more people die in colleges. —Bob Dylan, Nat Hentoff Interview, Playboy, March 1966
A College Degree is a Social Certificate, not a proof of competence. —Elbert Hubbard, A Thousand and One Epigrams, 1911
Almost all education has a political motive: It aims at strengthening some group, national or religious or even social, in the competition with other groups. It is this motive, in the main, which determines the subjects taught, the knowledge offered and the knowledge withheld, and also decides what mental habits the pupils are expected to acquire. Hardly anything is done to foster inward growth of the mind and spirit; in fact, those who have had most education are very often atrophied in their mental and spiritual life. —Bertrand Russell, Principles of Social Reconstruction, 1916
The aim of all education is, or should be, to teach people to educate themselves. —Arnold Toynbee, Surviving the future, 1971.
A university education should equip one to entertain three things: a friend, an idea, and one’s self. —Thomas Erlich, 1995
You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” —Tom Petty (no date)