Convenience Store as Metaphor for a University


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Convenience Store as Metaphor for a University


The university is a convenience store located along the highway of life. It's not a place the customer-student necessarily wants to stop at, but looking at the gas gauge of opportunity, the customer has decided to stop and fill up on knowledge in order to continue on the journey. Everything the university offers can be compared with an item offered at the convenience store.

The knowledge a student is buying can be compared to the different grades of gasoline available to the customer of a convenience store. What kind of performance the gasoline-knowledge gives to the customer-student depends on the commitment the customer-student has. The customers who want to get the most of their gasoline will go for the expensive, high grade gasoline, and the customers who don't care what kind of performance the gasoline gives, will opt for the cheapest gasoline. Likewise, the students who want to get the most out of their education pay the higher price in school by spending more time with their studies and taking more challenging courses, and the students that don't care what kind of education they get choose to minimize the amount of work necessary by taking less challenging courses. The customers' goal is to save money by purchasing cheaper gasoline, and the students' goal is to maximize the amount of free time they have to pursue personal interests. Generally, many students follow the example of the customer who buys the mid-grade gasoline, and they choose to give up a little more free time in order to gain a little more knowledge.

Like the many items in a convenience store competing for the customer's money, organizations, activities, and personal interests compete for a student's time. The many clubs and organizations a university offers are much like the different types of junk

food lining the shelves in a convenience store. They are available for students to take part in, and there is a great variety to appeal to the many different tastes of students, but it is a matter of individual opinion whether one activity is more fulfilling than another. In many ways these activities can be good for students and allow them to have lives beyond their studies, much like eating breaks up the monotony of a long drive. Sometimes though, students may put priority on the wrong interest, jeopardizing their grades by doing something like spending all day watching television, much like the customers that buy a carton of cigarettes every day are jeopardizing their health.

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The customer-student needs to choose carefully what extra items are worth their money-time.

The instructors at the university resemble the employees of a convenience store. Some are there to do a job, and they do it well, and others couldn't care less about their job or the customer-students that are the reason those employee-professors have a job. There are usually a few employees that try to make the most of their job and are always cheerful and willing to serve the customers, and there are usually a few professors that do that by making the most of each class meeting and making themselves available to students whenever they can. As a customer-student, one tries to be served-instructed by these employee-professors because by wanting to be there, they make the students want to be there. At a university, just like a convenience store, which professor instructs you isn't necessarily up to the student. In order to fulfill a requirement, students are sometimes forced to take classes from professors that seem incompetent, and it becomes a struggle for both the professor and the students to finish the class.

The convenience store is an accurate way of describing a university because so many different aspects correlate with each other from types of gasoline-study habits to the ability and desire of the employee-professor. On the highway of life, which convenience store-university, if any, one stops at is a personal choice, just as what one buys-learns is a personal choice, but with a little concentration, anyone can sort through the junk and find something that is right for them. After all, the object of life is to not get stranded on the side of the road. What one does to prevent that while at the convenience store-university is up to them.


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