Tag Archives: school

The experiment of living

“The student who secures his coveted leisure and retirement by systematically shirking any labor necessary to man obtains but an ignoble and unprofitable leisure, defrauding himself of the experience which alone can make leisure fruitful.

“They should not play life, or study it merely, while the community supports them at this expensive game, but earnestly live it from beginning to end. How could youths better learn to live than by at once trying the experiment of living?”

– Henry David Thoreau

So what’s he implying, do you think? Students should work and study at the same time? I did that, and lots of other people do to. But there are people for whom college is 4 years of spending all their time in an artificial community where everyone is like them, and where they don’t have any normal adult responsibilities. Can you really learn how to live as a full-time, on-campus, no-job college student? I’m not sure how to answer that one, or what the alternative should be.