Recent debates about whether or not college is worth it have sparked much discussion. Some warn that students are paying large sums of money for increasingly expensive education experiences that do not necessarily prepare them to succeed in life. Others argue that liberal arts colleges offer an educational experience that cultivates well-being, giving students a sense of self-value that goes beyond academic success.
Many people refer to these types of schools as “liberal” because they emphasize topics such as art, literature, history and philosophy over pure academics. These classes teach students how to reason, analyze ideas and concepts, discuss viewpoints, and apply knowledge to new situations. Students learn how to connect different pieces of information together, recognize patterns, and evaluate sources objectively, all qualities that can be applied to anything outside of the classroom.
These non-academic lessons also help develop social skills like teamwork, communication and leadership. Many employers look for these traits in job applicants, so having them pre-college can boost your career opportunities later on. While some of this emphasis may seem unnecessary or even fluffy, studies show that developing these skills early gives lasting benefits.
Furthermore, many experts believe that learning these other subjects helps build student understanding of core curriculum courses. This internalization makes it easier to retain what you learned before, which improves overall school performance. It also promotes higher engagement levels, making it more likely you will actually attend class.
A liberal arts education cultivates in you many different skills, not all of which directly relate to your career as a professional or academic something-something! These include soft skills like being able to communicate well with people, having understanding of other cultures, self-awareness, and organizational skills.
It also teaches you how to be productive even when you don’t feel like it. When I didn’t feel like writing for my book, I would take short breaks but then I would quickly pick up where I left off later.
I think this has a lot to do with why writers are so successful because they develop time management strategies that work for them.
Writing is a skill that can be learned and practiced, just like any other craft. And aside from helping you write your own books, these practices help you fulfill your dreams of becoming a writer yourself.
One of the biggest strengths of liberal arts students is their ability to approach knowledge and situations with fluidity. They learn how to analyze an argument or topic in depth, instead of simply using pre-existing concepts to understand it. This helps them apply what they have learned to new topics or areas.
This fluid understanding comes from two things – education theories that focus on teaching people rather than specific subjects, and the use of logic in studying.
Liberal arts studies emphasize educating the whole person, not just training individual parts (like math or English). That includes psychology, sociology, political science, philosophy, history, and other disciplines that influence your overall well-being.
By learning about different philosophies, you get to apply them to various issues. This process teaches you why one theory may be better than another depending on the situation.
Logic plays a big part in this. When used correctly, it can help show which courses of action are best under most circumstances.
The opposite of being closed off is having an open mind. This means you don’t have your own set ideas or beliefs about things, you are willing to try new things, and you don’t have a mental block when it comes to other people’s opinions.
Being liberal doesn’t mean agreeing with everything that everyone else does, it means believing in freedom for individuals. If someone else chooses to put their hand into a burning stove, then why can’t I choose to do the same?
Liberalism also implies belief in democracy. Democracy isn’t just rule by the majority, it’s understanding that no one has special knowledge that others do not, so we should all agree on how to handle problems and issues before deciding what actions to take.
Liberal societies value diversity, which includes racial, ethnic, religious, and cultural differences. People who live in diverse environments get better at distinguishing different types of people and what makes them happy.
Logic is the basis of being a liberal arts student. This is clearly seen when you look at the fields that emphasize this as a major component, like Philosophy or Mathematics.
Being able to apply logic to various situations is an important skill for anyone to have. For example, if someone says they are going to do something, we expect them to actually do it. If someone claims they are not hungry, we believe them until there has been proof otherwise.
By applying logic to things, people can come to conclusions and feel confident in those conclusions. We learn how to be logical by learning about concepts such as philosophy, mathematics, and rhetoric. These areas stress reasoning and analysis of ideas and arguments, which are both valuable skills.
These disciplines also teach us how to evaluate statements, sources, and ideas so that we know what information should make us more confident in its validity and what should make us less confident. This is an essential tool for life.
One of the biggest lessons that liberal arts can teach you is how to be socially intelligent. This isn’t just about knowing who the right people are, it’s also being able to use those relationships to achieve your goals.
Liberal arts courses don’t typically have a lot of focus on academic success, but they do emphasize helping others and practicing gratitude. Both of these things apply here!
Practicing gratitude means acknowledging all the good things in your life, from family members to friends to food. It’s interesting to note that most successful people were not always rich or famous, but they made sure to acknowledge their blessings every day.
Helping other people comes more naturally to some than to others. But if you want to reach your goal (whatever that may be), then you should try to help as many people as possible. That could mean teaching someone new something, running an errand for them, or planning a party for them.
The more people you meet, the more opportunities you will find yourself in the world. And though it might feel like a hassle at first, I promise you’ll end up enjoying it.
In addition to educating you, liberal arts courses also develop your courage in different areas. Whether it’s personal or professional, learning how to be brave is an important skill to have.
Liberal arts departments often emphasize things like philosophy, literature and art. These are all forms of expression that can sometimes go against societal norms and trends. Learning about concepts like truth, skepticism and perception helps you understand why some ideas seem better than others before you add yours to the mix.
By having these skills, you’ll know what to do when someone else has an idea that seems wrong. You’ll feel confident in yourself and your beliefs, which is one of the first steps towards being courageous.
Furthermore, there are times when people who claim to know everything become very arrogant. A good number of people in this situation are actually afraid because they don’t want to get swept up into something they believe is false. They keep their opinions to themselves because they’re not sure if what they say will make a difference or not.
If you find out later that person was right after all, at least you were able to look them in the eye without crying. This takes more self-confidence than most people have.
The same goes for when someone else says something amazing that makes you really think. Take time to process what you’ve learned so you’re not just floating through life with no direction.
In this world, there are few truly independent thinkers. People in our society are constantly influenced by media, advertisers, and other people.
It is very difficult to find someone that does not agree with the “mainstream” way of thinking. This is because most people get their information not from studying hard or even reading, but rather through talking about things with people that share the same views as them.
By having exposure to different ideas, you learn how to weigh up evidence and be able to come to your own conclusions regardless of what others say. You also develop self-confidence when you realize that you know enough to hold your own opinion.
Furthermore, being independent means avoiding groupthink, which is when members of a community emphasize common beliefs and ignore facts that do not match those beliefs.
Learning to prioritize
In our increasingly complex world, one of the fundamentals that you will need to learn is how to prioritize. It is impossible to accomplish anything substantial if you do not know how to manage your time effectively.
As we grow older, it becomes more difficult to feel in control of our lives. Work demands keep rising, relationships come with commitments, and things tend to pile up as life gets busy.
Finding the balance between having enough time for what is important to you and making progress towards your dreams can be tricky.
There are several strategies to help you achieve this. The first is to make sure that you don’t have too much free time because you might want to spend this time doing something else. For example, if you enjoy reading, try finding ways to increase your literacy skills by taking a class or two. If you love to exercise, find ways to fit it into your schedule.
Prioritizing also means being willing to accept that some things may go unfunded. This could be due to lack of money, time, or both, but you must figure out which ones are most significant to you and work from there.
Everyone has different priorities so figuring out which ones are yours can take practice. However, once you do, you will be able to use them efficiently and consistently.