As we discussed, liberal arts education is more than just learning how to read, write, and do math. It’s about educating you as a person by integrating knowledge with other subjects and frameworks. It’s about giving you the tools to analyze different modes of thinking, argumentation, and communication. And it’s about fostering in you self-knowledge and understanding of who you are as a human being.
Liberal arts degrees focus heavily on these things because they want to inspire in you an appreciation for the humanities (the study of literature, history, philosophy, etc.) as well as the sciences. They believe that this deeper level of engagement will make you a better citizen of the world.
They also emphasize rationality, logic, and analytical skills which can be applied beyond academia. These qualities can help you achieve your career goals and live a meaningful life.
In fact, several studies show that people with higher levels of education tend to earn more money than those with less. What’s more, educational attainment has a positive correlation with living longer.
Additionally, research suggests that non-academic traits like conscientiousness, agreeableness, and empathy are important drivers of success in life.
You make better friends
A major in liberal arts means you get to study lots of different subjects, but your studies emphasize topics that focus more on understanding other people and educating others. This is important because we all know at least one person who just loves talking about themselves and never pauses to listen or ask questions of anyone else.
By contrast, many professional degree programs require students to learn how to teach others. These teachers are paid well because they have mastered their field, but they can sometimes lack empathy for their audience.
You are also likely to make much more money than someone with only an undergraduate degree after them. The average income difference between college graduates and those that do not go beyond high school is around $1,000 per year!
Furthermore, research consistently finds that individuals with higher education are happier than those without. Even though there has been no definitive proof proving that studying humanities makes you feel good, it is possible that doing so cultivates meaningful relationships which help you feel happy.
This article will talk more about some of the ways that studying art, literature, history, and philosophy helps build strong personal relationships.
You are more optimistic
A liberal arts education cultivates in you an optimism about life. You learn that everything is inherently valuable and interesting, including things like math, literature, history, and philosophy.
Liberal arts students are encouraged to explore different areas of knowledge for the sake of understanding how ideas work and influence each other. This process shapes your view of the world.
You also develop communication skills that help you relate to everyone. When someone else’s viewpoint differs from yours, you know what all the parts of the argument are and how to defend yourself against them.
Optimism is a quality that most people have, but it’s not necessarily shared everywhere. So having some degree of optimism can be quite powerful. If you believe that there are good things coming up for you, then you will try harder to achieve those goals.
It can make you happier than if people didn’t think that they could do great things. I understand why many teens and young adults feel very discouraged about their futures, so helping them see the possibilities that exist can motivate them.
Furthermore, educated individuals tend to earn better money, live longer, and feel happier than people who aren’t as well-educated. All of these differences matter to society as a whole.
So even though individual studies may seem irrelevant, collectively they create a strong case for the importance of an educational experience that includes the liberal arts.
You are a better listener
One of the biggest things that liberal arts can help you develop is your listening skills. We as humans spend a lot of time talking about how we talk, but very few teach us to listen properly.
By teaching you to be more attentive and understand other people’s points of view, they go beyond just knowing what you said before; they learn how to connect with you.
This is especially important in our society where there is an overabundance of information floating around everywhere. Technology makes it possible for everyone to have their own voice and express themselves at any given moment.
With all this noise, it becomes increasingly difficult to know who is actually putting out messages that matter to you. By being able to recognize these messages, you will begin to identify them yourself.
You will also become aware of the different ones that don’t match up and why. This helps you formulate your own opinions and knowledge base.
You are more aware
As we discussed, liberal arts directly correlate to increased awareness. This is clearly seen in the field of education. Schools that emphasize the importance of educating students beyond the classroom setting are increasing in popularity.
Liberal arts colleges focus heavily on producing well-educated people who are conscious individuals. These students will have exposure to many different areas of study, not just limited to the humanities but also including science, math, business, etc.
The overall quality of their educations can be traced back to this emphasis. Professionals with at least a bachelor’s degree usually have additional training in other fields as well. They are advanced thinkers who know how to apply knowledge in various areas.
Furthermore, they tend to thrive in workplace environments because they are able to relate to others and work effectively with them. In our increasingly connected world, being able to connect with people is an invaluable skill.
This may sound very academic and even vague for some, so let us look at some examples.
You probably learned about Benjamin Franklin from elementary school and maybe knew his famous quote about lightning strikes during a thunderstorm.
But did you learn anything else about him? Probably not too much, if any. But what I will tell you is that he was one of the founding fathers of modern day America and played a significant role in its success.
You are a better writer
We as humans have a natural ability to use language to express ourselves, tell stories, and communicate with other people. This is an important skill that we should actively develop because it comes in handy everywhere you look.
Writing is a form of expression that has many applications beyond just creating blogs or books. Your career can depend on your writing skills.
By adding writing into your daily life, you will improve your hand-eye coordination, self-confidence, and time management. Writing is also a great way to reduce stress and find your inner strength.
We’ve got some more tips for what to do with all this extra free time you’ll get from not doing anything else!
Liberal arts majors often put their talent in reading and storytelling to good use by editing and publishing their own fiction or creative nonfiction products. Others become writers themselves by putting together drafts of manuscripts or completing short stories.
But none of these things matter if you don’t like who you are so yourself.
That’s why developing your writing ability is only half of the story. The other part is improving your understanding of how writing fits into the bigger picture of your life.
What does this mean? It means thinking about writing in terms of something greater than yourself.
You are a more creative thinker
A liberal arts education cultivates in you many different ways to be successful. It teaches you how to think about things creatively, not just from knowledge points of view but also application-based strategies.
This is important because we live in an ever-connected world. Technology makes it easy for anyone to access vast amounts of information. With every person having their own smartphone with them at all times, there’s no need to go out of your way to get some specific info.
Your phone has a lot of apps that can help you find what you’re looking for. And most smart phones have internet browsers now so you don’t even need to take your laptop or computer mobile.
Using these tools effectively takes time to master, though. Having an educational background in the humanities helps by giving you the fundamental concepts of various disciplines.
You’ll learn about literature, psychology, history, and other areas that apply directly to everyday life. In fact, several studies show that people who have an extensive college education are happier than those with only a high school diploma.
You are a more confident person
As mentioned earlier, liberal arts graduates are not only well-educated individuals, but they also tend to be more self-confident than other degree types. This is why most people with an art or music major are known as very artistic and creative.
Many social science majors develop thoughtful strategies for argumentation and debate. These skills can prove particularly helpful in academic settings, where you will have to defend your ideas against others’.
Other soft sciences like psychology and sociology help us understand ourselves and our world by studying how emotions work, and what influences our emotional state.
You are a better spouse or partner
A liberal arts education really helps you in your life as a parent. When you’re a parent, being a good caregiver is an integral part of what you do. Being a great parent requires not only nurturing and care for their child, but also for yourself emotionally after children leave home.
As parents, our schedules can get crazy. After school drop-offs and pick-ups, running errands, workouts, jobs, and other commitments, it can be hard to find time to connect with friends or pursue hobbies outside of parenting.
It’s important to learn how to prioritize and manage your time so that you don’t feel overwhelmed. This is particularly true once kids enter college and start spending more time away from you. Many colleges offer student aid programs that cover some if not all of the tuition costs, which can help you focus on your studies without worrying about money.
In addition to helping you spend less money, a well rounded education can enrich your personal life. Learning about different cultures and philosophies gives you insight into how others approach things and teaches you something about yourself. Your classmates may even just be supportive people who enjoy learning too!
You are a better employee
A degree in art, literature, history, music, or any of these fields provides you with knowledge that can be applied to many areas. These majors often teach you how to analyze concepts and material deeply, and use this understanding to apply them elsewhere.