Sunday, May 17, 2009

Why College? A Discussion

Recently, as my friends and I had our usual water-cooler talk, the topic of what we all planned to do after college came up. Many of us have plans to pursue a Master's degree and some even want to obtain a Ph.D! I'm no less than proud to hear that we all have higher goals.

But it did leave me wondering something: Why is it that we have such aspirations? Other than the obvious expectation upon us to go, what is it that we hope to gain out of college?

What is it that I hope to gain out of college?

The problem with trying to answer this question is that it is way too multi-dimensional. I can of course say 'I hope to become a better person', but in no way does that actually constitute as an answer.

If college is indeed such a life changing experience as everyone describes it to be, then what I get out of it will vastly over-shadow any of the preconceptions and expectations I have now. In addition to that, there would be no way for me to even begin to cover the so said changes - they would only be truly apparent in how I carry myself and my memories. For if I try to single them out one by one, most would be simple and pale on their own.

Yet, maybe hoping is the best place to start. If I use the 'becoming a better person' statement, what are the standards that I want to use? I want to become wiser, witter, a more fluid writer, improve on my language skills/computer skills/ and my knowledge in sociology. I want to increase the variety of things I've experienced by traveling - just being in the middle of PA should provide me with a slew of things I've never encountered here in New York. I want to be well suited for the (now abysmal) job market and make a good living.

I want to change my world. And maybe even the world while I'm at it.

I suppose, I'll just have to wait to see the results. Three month's time isn't a lot when you think about it.


  1. That does make a lot of sense. What do I hope to gain out of college. This post made me want to re evaluate my idea of what collage will do for me. There are quite a few things that I want to become better at. I might chose to do some application development.

  2. Yay! Good to see I got something to do some thinking. I think its best to truly try and understand what the next fours years about, before we jump in.

    Also, we should do something app wise.

  3. I think the key word is "opportunity". You'll have the opportunity to learn from experts, to think about things that people with full-time jobs don't have the luxury to think about, to connect regularly and sometimes collaborate with intelligent people from a variety of backgrounds, to have people who care monitor your intellectual progress, etc. Having a diploma will also open up job opportunities that are not available to those without diplomas.

    Your tuition is not buying an outcome - just opportunities for outcomes. Perhaps a better question going into college is what kinds of opportunities do you want to seize there to make it worthwhile.