i College: Overly Expensive or Priceless? | COLLEGE WRITING: DEBATE(S) IN HIGHER EDCUATION

Isabel Detienne

The debate on whether or not the price of college is worth the possible rewards later in life has recently become one of the most debated topics. People all over the world have highlighted multiple points over this issue. One important figure addressing this issue, with whom I agree, is Fareed Zakaria. He strongly defends the importance of a four-year college degree and routinely meets with a variety of talk show hosts, in addition to publishing numerous papers, to publicize his ideas. On, The Nightly Show, with Larry Wilmore, Fareed states, “It is absolutely clear that people who go to a four-year college make substantially more money over the course of their lifetime.” This economic argument emphasizes his overall belief. Personally, I gain a lot of comfort from his position as it helps to relieve my personal discomfort relative to the risks and stresses behind spending an overwhelming amount of money to hopefully get a well-paying job after college.

I believe in the power of higher education, especially when it is associated with the liberal arts’ philosophy, and trust my future employers will acknowledge and reward the benefits of a quality education.

Liberal art colleges strive to produce the most well-rounded individuals possible. Their hope, is to not only prepare students for their chosen field of work, but also the ever-changing world in which we live. As time goes on, more therapeutic and creative jobs have become popular. Society is looking for new ideas and ways to accomplish the changing dynamics that come with everyday life. Classes such as theology, psychology, creative writing, and other liberal arts’ classes have gained popularity and importance in recent years. These learning experiences provide the student with a well-rounded perspective and help them develop productive interactive skills. To interact in a formal job setting, one must start learn the science behind the impact of their personal actions. A liberal arts education successfully prepares students for socially and mentally challenging professions, giving them the skills to excel. Edward Ray, an American economist, wrote an article emphasizing these points exactly: “Our society desperately needs the grounding in ethical thinking and questioning that the liberal arts provide”. My drive to gain a liberal arts education derives from the value that Ray, and many others in our society, emphasize today.

Saint Norbert College (SNC) not only stood out as an excellent liberal arts system, but also possessed the most well rounded inter-faith dynamic. As I grew up, I always had the goal to get a higher education at a liberal arts college. Following in the footsteps of both of my parents and older sister, I never questioned the value of a liberal arts education. All three have graduated from Lawrence University and have since become extremely successful. They have had little difficulty finding jobs that perfectly fit the personal skills they have garnered from their education. Their success was appealing to me and gave me the inspiration to attend a quality college with the hope of similar success.

There were strong deciding factors that impacted my decision to attend SNC, including its small size, personal atmosphere, well-known art department, strong liberal arts’ focus, and the overall religious foundation. I have found that the best way for me to learn is to closely interact and connect to my teachers or professors. When I feel comfortable and supported, I am more apt to achieve my highest potential.  Because SNC is a small and attentive college, I expect to have the learning experience only an extremely specialized college can provide. I am confident SNC, and its professors, will assist me in pursing my adventurous and unique dream.

The career path I am choosing relates directly to the liberal arts and can only be achieved through this personalized schooling. I aspire to one day become a world-known art therapist who strives to affect others with love and happiness through the power of art. For the past five years, I have dealt with a great deal of tragedy and I have turned to art for help. I rest the majority of my faith in the mental and emotional release art brings. Because I am so passionate about art, I know I have the ability to open a door in other`s lives. I hope to work in a hospital setting, improving patients’ mental state on a daily basis. I know this is not a very popular profession, creating a large amount of competition to fill the historic job openings. I am confident, however, that the staff and educators within SNC will provide the environment for me to be my best.

While here, I have to tackle the strenuous task of double majoring in both art and psychology. I know if I want to follow my personal dream, I will have to work extremely hard. Without the support of a quality liberal arts’ schooling system, my “hobby”, which has become my emotional release, would never translate into a rewarding career.

The majority of college-bound students are focused upon entering the work force with the ability to make a difference or substantial contribution to society. Not only does this dream require a central set of academic skills for your intended job, it also requires a wide variety of social skills. One must have a strong base of overall intelligence in order to communicate and interact effectively. Social skills involve much more than a talkative person with a friendly face. Those who excel in social situations have been influenced to interact respectfully and in an empathetic manner. It is increasingly important to be understanding of the many differences and varying lifestyles throughout our society. I hope to learn about differing beliefs amongst varied groups of people, as well as within myself. During my time at SNC I will strive to mature my religious beliefs and passion for life to become a well-rounded individual.

SNC is a religious-based college and I expect to be fully submerged in various religious debates to develop new outlooks and a better understanding of a variety of different ways of life. I am confident I will stand behind my own strong personal beliefs while being open to accepting new and differing views. The world in which we live becomes more diverse daily and acceptance has never been more important. By taking classes based on different religious beliefs, I am confident I will obtain the knowledge I will need to treat everyone as an equal all with a caring heart.

Along with developing the skills I need to excel within my chosen occupation, I also hope to achieve a great deal of happiness during my time at SNC. College life is generally centered upon preparing for the future, but I have always been one to live in the moment. I find great value in appreciating the people and activities that make me happy. I believe the money I am investing now to attend SNC will not only benefit me in the future, but will also support my present mental and emotional state. I am excited to meet fellow students and faculty who will become life-long friends providing endless and meaningful memories. I want to live the most fun-filled and meaningful life I can so when I reach the point in life when I’m left with nothing but memories, I have the best ones.

With the education I intend on receiving at SNC, I plan to have a leg-up when I enter the work force in a few short years. Our society has found more value behind a liberal arts education than ever before, making this experience a true investment. The investment in SNC will definitely give me the set of skills, knowledge, and memories that will amount to future success in every form. If done right, a college education from a liberal arts-based school will be the best decision you can ever make. College is expensive, but success through the right college is priceless.

You must be logged in to leave a reply.