Last weekend, I went to my college reunion. I walked the quads, gawked at the beautiful new buildings, and had discussions with my classmates about how much happier the current students looked. It’s ironic, of course, because I had an intellectually engaging and, honestly, fun undergraduate experience. My fellow reunion attendees were doctors, and lawyers, and investment bankers. They were engineers, and writers, and professors. More than two thirds of us graduated with liberal arts degrees.
With the total cost at many selective colleges (even public ones) significantly in excess of $100,000, it’s not uncommon for students and parents to express concern over the return on investment. Have you been asked, “What are you going to DO with your major in philosophy?” While I envied my roommate and the ease with which she turned her electrical engineering degree into a job as an electrical engineer, as an adult, I wouldn’t trade my liberal arts education.
A liberal arts education gives one an opportunity to study both a breadth of subjects, and then pursue an area of interest in depth. You will learn how to think critically, question liberally, and read and write fluidly. A liberal arts education can allow you to see the world from different points of view, form an independent opinion and apply it to any number of situations or opportunities. After you complete your undergraduate degree, it might be years, or perhaps decades before you have the opportunity to learn more about ancient philosophers, geology, or Impressionism.
Ask yourself, what I am looking forward to learning in college?