It’s a typical Monday. You’re in class, half-listening to your professor drone on about the human brain, or something. At the same time you’re checking your Facebook page, and daydreaming about your spring break. Wouldn’t it be nice if you could rewind time and head back to the beach?
Your professor attracts your full-attention for a moment, as he introduces a student to the class. She starts speaking immediately, explaining the virtues of a new student organization that you should join today. You tune her out, drifting back into your fascinating daydream. It’s the same story you’ve heard every day since you began college.
“There will be plenty of free food for everyone!” the student announces, her voice intruding on your moment at the beach.
Your head jerks up. Your attention is suddenly riveted on the still speaking student. When is this organization meeting? Where?
She’s just guaranteed your presence.
It’s one thing to hear that an organization is going to make your resume look amazing or that your professor will really appreciate your attendance at his speech. We all know these things are true, but the reward is distant and potentially useless. It’s going to take a lot of time and effort before you can cash in on these rewards, and you’ll never know if they even paid off.
Free food, on the other hand, is an instant reward. Getting paid with food is worth the time and energy it takes to attend a few university events or join an organization. Escaping the monotony of the cafeteria or saving yourself a few bucks and a trip to the grocery store is worth a lot. It doesn’t even matter what type of food they have to offer. As long as it’s there you’ll be there too, and so will dozens of other students.
Image: Lauren Cunningham, ACES ’13; today.uconn.edu