Why I love being a Liberal Arts student

As appearing in ODYSSEY

All throughout high school I was always commended on having such diverse interests. I loved all my classes: History, English, Foreign Languages, Economics, Theater. I would read books on various subjects and in various genres ranging from “Wuthering Heights” by Charlotte Bronte and any and every Shakespeare play, to “Guns, Germs and Steel” by Jared Diamond. My extracurricular activities in high school changed from one year to the next but included playing for my high school’s soccer team, joining and becoming extremely involved in our theater club, playing the violin in the orchestra, going on retreats for natural helpers, and doing service projects for National Honor Society. Since coming to campus as a college sophomore I have realized that my interests have broadened even more widely. The only thing that they all have in common is that they are all a form of the liberal arts.

International Studies student Hannah Purtymun
International Studies student Hannah Purtymun

I am a declared International Studies major with a minor in French. However, I am planning on picking up an Economics major as well. All of these subjects are intertwined within the College of Liberal Arts here on campus. The wonderful thing that I love about my Liberal Arts curriculum and future degree is that I can study everything that I am interested in because in my International Studies major alone there are many different subjects to choose from. I can take History, both ancient and modern, Political Science, English, French, Economics, Art, Anthropology, Geography, Music, and Philosophy, among many others.

For some students, especially in the sciences, the knowledge gained in college may be directly relevant to graduate study. For almost all students, a liberal arts education works in subtle ways to create a web of knowledge that will illumine problems and enlighten judgment on innumerable occasions in later life.
-Derek Bok

Everyone told me that once I got to college I would have to narrow my interests into a career field and that loving every subject I study will actually be detrimental to me in the long run. But what I have found is that my diverse interests are helping me to develop a path towards a career that I really love. I may not know what it is yet, but I know that I will get there, and you will too. The liberal arts are not a bad course of study, especially if you find interest in many different subjects. Learn what you love, like I am, and everything will fall into place. Eventually I may have to narrow down into a singular subject, but when I do I will be well-rounded enough to have a background in everything from English to political science to economics, something that cannot be said for many other degree-seeking students. For right now I’m keeping my options open to see where my path will lead.


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