Is Daytona State College not cool?

I see that Lisa Hill published this blog post yesterday: Daytona Beach Now Has a State College!. It’s a sales pitch for real estate; apparently having a “state college” in the town is great for property values. I like her enthusiasm. “Daytona Beach has a state college! This should be a big draw for students from all over the country.” Umm, it’s the same college as before. It hasn’t changed a bit, really. They just changed the name. I could change this blog to “The Daytona State College Chronicles” and it wouldn’t make one difference because it would be the same stuff.

But enough of that. This is the paragraph that hit home for me:

My own daughter obtained one of Florida’s Bright Future’s Scholarships and will be starting her college of choice next week. (Apparently, attending college in the same county where you were born and raised is not cool.)

I got the same thing from a lot of people before joining the college. “When will you be moving off to college?” “I’m not, I’m going to DBCC and staying with my parents.” “You baby!”

Even if your moving out of the house, if you’re staying in the same area to go to college, a lot of people think it’s “not cool.” Like you have to prove something to the world by moving away and spending lots of money on an apartment / dorm room and being around strangers and being away from your family / girlfriend / boyfriend. Let me tell you now, you don’t have to prove anything to anyone. It makes no difference if you go to Daytona State or Harvard. You think it does, and other people think it does, but it actually means nothing. It only means something if it means something to you, but if it does you’re on the wrong path because this stuff shouldn’t matter to you to start with. There are more important things in life, like finding your purpose, making money by independently doing what you love, motivation, intellect, and more, none of which you’ll learn in college. In fact you’ll be worse off because you’ll be using your college education as a crutch. Don’t do that.

I know that most of my Daytona State colleagues are a smart bunch. They don’t fall for the stigma of going to a local college or the stigma of a community college (err, maybe a little). They don’t care about coolness. They’re above coolness. I hope I am too, but when pressured to answer, I say that DSC is undoubtedly cool. Any college that has a room with 150 computers has got to be cool (building 500, the “Advanced Technology Center” student computer lab). But the classes are fascinating too. We’ve got QUANTA, which is the coolest thing ever.

Daytona State is as good as every other college, even the bigger ones. I believe that college is not valuable; I’m just going their for the prestige. 😀 There’s a great community at the college, everyone is friendly, and the administrators only revoke scholarships occasionally. The BrightFutures program really is great; it pays for all my tuition and half of my books. You can’t get that at a “cool” college.

Do you think the college is cool? Is attending a local college in general uncool? Are community colleges cool? Does coolness even matter? Let me know in the comments section. I spent the last day reprogramming the comments system, and it’s looking fantastic now, if I do say so myself. If I get a few interesting comments I’ll feature them in an upcoming blog post.

2008-08-24 Update:: Read Lisa’s follow-up, The “Cool” College in Daytona Beach vs “un-cool” colleges. My reply:

I wasn’t thinking of the gradual evolution of the college, but you’re right, it has gotten a lot grander over the years, and is much more worthy of the “state” title now. The dual-enrollment thing is great, particularly for being free. I thought about using it but didn’t because I was far enough ahead in high school and had the BrightFutures scholarship coming.