Rebecka Olsson

In Sweden, where I am from, college and university tuition is for free. I repeatedly get the question from my friends both from here and home: “why are you not studying in Sweden?” I mean, I could likewise stay home in Sweden, get the same education as I get here (for free) and be able to be with my family and friends every day. But the reason why I am at SNC is because I wanted to get an experience along with a great education and to learn another language apart from my native language. I believe that there is no better way of learning English than to actually live in an english speaking country.

There are many people who are against liberal arts studies, and there are also people who are against any education at all. Dale Stephens claims in his article that schools are not allowing the students to use their imagination and fantasy: “Our creativity, innovation and curiosity are schooled out of us”. He thinks that many college students would benefit from dropping college and start working instead. I understand what he is trying to say and I share his opinions about how your own creativity, curiosity, innovation and life experiences can give you a great job without a college degree. For me, personally, college is important for my future career. I am not a creative person like Stephens and if I would not attend college I would probably be working in a factory or something like that. I want my future job to be fun, challenging and that fits my personality and my degree, as well as getting a decent paycheck. Therefore I believe and I hope that my college education is going to be worth the money.

As we all know, attending college is expensive and in sometimes, especially when facing adversities, it is easy to question the value of the education and to reflect on whether it is going to be worth the money or not.  On The Nightly Show, host Larry Wilmore asks: “Is the cost too much of what you are getting?” I believe that the answer to this is no. Anya Kamenetz states in response: “If you want to pay the bills and make above minimum wage you need something beyond high school”. A liberal arts education is probably one of the best stepping stones when you finish school and start looking for your first real job. I think that most people need a college education to be successful in their careers. Of course there are exceptions, for example the worlds richest man, Bill Gates who is a college drop-out. Aside from Gates, I believe that on a long term basis, all forms of education is worth the money.

I believe that a college education is an investment I do for yourself and for my future. I am putting in a lot of money and effort in my education and the outcome of my education is going to be something even greater. The question I asked myself before attending college was, is my education going to be worth the money? Because college does cost a large amount of money. I am not sure what I want to work with in the future but I am sure that whatever it is going to be, I will have a great foundation to build on from getting a liberal arts degree from St Norbert College. At SNC, I am on the woman’s hockey team. Being on the team offers a unique opportunity to combine my athletic life with my academic life. In Sweden it is not possible to combine sports and academics at this level of professionalism as here at SNC. Most times you have to choose to commit to either hockey, your career or education, it is hard to combine all or even two of them.

St Norbert College is a liberal arts college and that is yet another reason why I am here. Fareed Zakaria talks about three main points that demonstrates why he thinks liberal arts matter: “Liberal arts teaches you how to write, how to speak, and how to learn.” These three things are the key to manage almost every job. I think that having a broad education and being used to various types of studies is going to help me to conform to new workplaces in my future career. Edward J. Ray states in his article that most people change paths in their careers more than once in life: “Most people will have six to 10 jobs during their careers, and liberal arts majors are the most adaptable to new circumstances. No one knows what the jobs of the future will be, but a liberal arts degree provides a great foundation for adjusting to new careers and further education”. I agree with what he is saying and that is also why I think a liberal arts education is so important.

My intention is to go back to Sweden after I graduate and to start a career and build a life there. I believe that I will have an advantage in job seeking over other people with similar education as I have, but with a degree completed in Sweden. Most jobs in Sweden now a days include talking, listening or reading English so my college experience is going to give me an advantage when applying for jobs. Swedes are generally very good at English but when I have completed my four years at SNC I am going to have exceptional skills in English language which are going to be useful if I want to have a job that includes talking English. Both my parents are talking English daily in their jobs but neither of them have been studying English at an advanced level. Even though I believe that my generation is going to better at English than my parents generation are, I will most probably be in advantage when employers are choosing between someone who has been studying in Sweden versus me.


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