Many middle-agers look back on college as the most intensely interesting and vibrant four years of their life -- especially if they were lucky enough to attend back in the '60s and mid-70s when the civil rights, anti-war, counter-culture and women's movements were exploding. Meanwhile high-schoolers -- those lucky dogs -- have those four years of discovery, growth and seemingly limitless possibility still ahead of them.
UCCS grad student
Hood: Near North End
What was the most important thing you learned in college? Knowledge is a lot more than a means to wealth. It enables you to step outside your culture to assess it objectively.
What are college kids missing out on these days? College is increasingly occupation-oriented and geared to produce skilled ants for the anthill. There's not much passion for learning for its own sake.
What would you do differently if you could do it over again? Spend less time in the library. Add philosophy to my clinical psychology major. Go to the University of Wisconsin instead of the tiny liberal arts college I attended. A major university offers a lot more social and cultural diversity.
St. Mary's H.S. senior
What's the most important thing you've learned during high school? Nonconformity is a virtue. Stay true to yourself. Don't give in to everyone's will.
What's been your most memorable high-school moment? My grandpa was the principal at St. Mary's the first two years I was there. Also, I was in an automobile accident on the way to homecoming that left us upside-down, hanging from our seat belts. Never take life for granted.
Young Life Ministries employee
Hood: West Side
What's the most important thing you learned in college? Finding out who I am and what impact I want to make on the world.
What are today's college students missing out these days? Technology is making it too easy to get information. Too much thinking comes packaged and ready-made. Students aren't having to dig for knowledge.
What's your most disastrous college moment? I worked it out with a friend to read off his paper during an exam. I'm a lousy cheater. I got caught and both of us were dismissed from the test and given an F.
If you could do college over, what would you do differently? Put less emphasis on security, stability and assured income. I'd be more willing to take risks and trust in the Lord.
Hood: Fountain and Institute
What's the most important thing you learned in high school? How to shut up and play the game the way the system wants it done. There are some things you can't change.
What are high-school kids being cheated out of these days? The really good teachers aren't staying in teaching.
What would you do differently if you could do high school over? I wouldn't do the International Baccalaureate program. It wasn't worth the stress and extra time. I put a lot more into it than I got out of it.
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