Confession: I arrived on campus for freshman year without knowing that Wheaton College was a Liberal Arts school. What can I say…Wheaton swept me off my feet on my first visit and I hastily filled out my college application without doing much research. For the first few weeks of classes, I confidently nodded my head in agreement whenever peers or professors would discuss the topic of Liberal Arts while thinking to myself, hmm…I should really Google what that means when I get back to my dorm room.
Perhaps your college decision-making process looks a lot different than mine did when I was choosing where to go to school. You’ve likely spent hours online, swimming in nitty gritty details about the colleges you’re currently considering, weighing the pros and cons of each one as strands of hair slowly fall out from all your stress. Is a Liberal Arts education worth it? In hopes my Wheaton College experience will offer you some insight — here are three ways that a Liberal Arts program has equipped me for a fulfilling life after college.
A Liberal Arts education has allowed me to develop necessary skills for adaptability in a continually evolving world.
Life is replete with unexpected circumstances and unforeseen changes. As Proverbs 16:9 reminds us, our game plan can fall through at any moment, and we must be able to adjust when God’s calling doesn’t align with what we had in mind for our future. Through the diverse opportunities offered in a Liberal Arts education, we learn to become more adaptable in a constantly changing society. A Liberal Arts education develops key skills, such as communication, speaking, and writing, that are essential to any area of expertise. I don’t know what God has planned for me throughout my lifetime, but I do know that these skills have laid a strong foundation that will enable me to thrive and effectively serve the Lord and my community, even outside of my comfort zone.
A Liberal Arts education has provided me with a passion for lifelong learning.
In a Liberal Arts education, we’re constantly challenging our minds to think bigger than what is right in front of us. Liberal Arts students are exposed to a wide array of information and conditioned to develop a curiosity about the world outside of our everyday lives. Some of the classes I was most afraid of (I’m looking at you, Neurobiology of Stress…) turned into opportunities of growth, excitement, and amazement for God’s creation. It was rewarding to gain familiarity with subject matter that was previously intimidating. I learned how to greet intellectual challenge with a warm welcome due to the many ways in which Wheaton’s Liberal Arts curriculum stretched me both inside and outside of the classroom.
A Liberal Arts education has improved my social consciousness.
One of the easiest parts of life is thinking primarily about ourselves. A Liberal Arts education challenges these egocentric tendencies and broadens our social consciousness by exposing us to the beauty that lies within diverse thoughts, backgrounds, races, and cultures. Each student is required to complete several courses in the humanities discipline, which includes Anthropology, Sociology, and Psychology, just to name a few. Classes like these expand our perspective of the world and instill in us a sense of amazement for God’s creation. Rather than fearing or avoiding what is unknown to us, we’re encouraged to learn about and celebrate the different stories we share and the distinct characteristics we each bring to the table. Students are also given opportunities to hear speakers from a variety of social and cultural backgrounds with various clubs on campus directly focusing on increasing our social solidarity and exposing students to diverse cultures. We are better able to live lives of love, grace, and service to others when we meet others where they are in life.
Of course, there are thousands of additional benefits to choosing a Liberal Arts education, but I hope this brings clarity and peace of mind to those wondering if Liberal Arts is the right choice for them. Wheaton College does much more than prepare a student for their post-college career; a Liberal Arts education is an investment in the holistic development of its students. So yes, proudly showcase your Microsoft Office proficiency and polished resume design, but also know that who you are will never be the same as you draw from your four years of Liberal Arts education to better experience what it means to serve Christ and His Kingdom.
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