i COLLEGE EDUCATION | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Nevena Prebiracevic

I came to SNC to study psychology. Even though I graduated with dental technician and tour guide degrees in my home country of Montenegro, I’ve always been interested in psychology and dreamed of studying it someday. I decided to do so in the U.S. because education system is very different than in Europe, perhaps even better. Main difference that I prefer is variety of classes that are offered for all students in most colleges, regardless of the major. So why St Norbert College? I had visited it ten years ago while my cousin was a student here, and I was impressed with how beautiful and special the campus was. So I kept that image in my head, and when the opportunity for my education at SNC opened up, I seized it. In addition to my first impressions, I have also heard other good things about SNC, so that is why it was my first choice.

Many people argue about college tuition costs and if it’s worth the cost. In The Nightly Show, Kurt Metzler stated that, “Education is worth it but not if it is 250,000 dollars”, and I partly agree with that. After all, most people, in order to pay for their higher education, will have to take out loans. With an ever changing economy, and with different life challenges that we will all encounter in the future, for some people it may not be worth it. I said that I agree partly because I still believe that getting college education is not just about money or the jobs that we may or may not get afterwards. College gives us opportunities to develop in so many different ways—intellectually, personally, and spiritually–and I am not sure we can place the cap on the price for some of those experiences.

Ultimately, for some people college will be worth their money, and for others it probably won’t. Like any other investment and decision that we make in life, it will definitely pay off but only if we know what we are doing and why, and if we do it right. With that in mind, I will have to disagree with Dale Stephens’ statement that, “We think of college as a stepping-stone to success rather than a means to gain knowledge. College fails to empower us with the skills necessary to become productive members of today’s global entrepreneurial economy”. I believe that for many majors, college is a stepping-stone for gaining knowledge, and only knowledge can lead us to success. At the same time, I also understand that colleges can’t teach us everything and that we have to explore and expand our knowledge on our own, as well. Therefore, it all depends on the person and their clarity of purpose: why they are going to college in the first place. For example, some people have a natural talent for business. If they believe that they don’t need any additional education to start their own company, then they should definitely skip on going to college and pursue their business dream. For me, it is a mix of both which makes it a worthwhile venture for the knowledge I will acquire and also the sheer experience.

And at the end I chose a liberal arts education because I believe that it offers the best methods of learning that will expand my knowledge in different fields and make me a well-rounded person. For me, especially as an international student, learning to express my ideas through writing is the biggest challenge, but it’s also one of the greatest skills that liberal art education builds. Developing writing is essential for critical thinking because , as Fareed Zakaria (one of the advocates of a liberal art education) states in his essay, “writing forces you to make choices and it brings clarity and order to your ideas”. Therefore, my priority for now is to learn that skill and connect my thoughts with coherent written expression.

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