Self-made men who have risen from the estate of newspaper boys to the estate of financial magnates appear to derive extraordinary pleasure from setting down a college course as a kind of sinecure for enjoying an extra "loaf" before rolling up the sleeves for real work. The attitude has been put into words in the leading editorial of the last number of the Alumni Bulletin. "Are we not in danger of neglecting to impress upon the world the fact that a college is a place to which young men are sentenced to do four years of hard labor?" it asks.
College students to the contrary, there is much truth in the argument. Yet how is it to be reoonelled with the undoubted fact that many students yearn to get through and relax in an eight-hour day? One explanation of the anomaly might be that it is human nature to feel abused under any circumstances. But a better explanation appears to spring from the emphasis on "sentenced". It is generally true that the undergraduate does not labor hard enough at college. But he will not do otherwise until the idea that any labor on courses comes in the nature of a jail sentence is eradicated.
For education is not something to be driven into anyone's head, and nobody can be forced to work hard unless his interest is aroused to the necessary pitch. Raising the standard of scholarship is mistaking the real cause, for scholarship is not the sole ingredient of an education. Since to the true student all life is an education, knowledge is to be acquired both inside the classroom and out. When all angles of college life are made an adventure, the four years will become the privilege of doing hard but interesting and valuable labor.