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Three Reasons College Matters

It’s not hard to learn things in 2014. Almost all the information you could ever need is a Google search and a couple clicks away from the page you’re on right now.

With so much information so easily accessible, why bother shelling out thousands of dollars and spending four years of your life on an undergraduate degree? Here are three simple reasons:

1. You have to learn how to fail.

You’re not going to be successful at everything you try in life. The sooner you accept that fact and learn how to deal with it, the better off you’ll be. College is a relatively safe environment to learn how to bounce back from your mistakes because it has elements of the real world but the stakes aren’t quite as high. If you pass on studying to see your favorite band, you might fail that math test. If you neglect studying up for that big presentation at work you might just lose your job. It’s better to make those types of mistakes in college.

2. College is a great place to learn how to think.

Having an opinion is easy. Dissecting an issue and looking at it from multiple angles is much harder. It’s easy to scroll through the latest headlines on Twitter and feel as though you understand what’s going on in the world. But there are multiple layers and nuances to every issue that we don’t get from simply scanning over topics. Core classes, although sometimes tedious, are designed to teach you how to think. You’d be amazed what analyzing a Margaret Atwood novel for a Canadian Literature class can teach you about thinking.

3. Knowing how to communicate thoughts effectively is crucial.

When it comes to improving your communication skills, there is no substitute for practice. Last semester, I had the privilege of taking Professor Wycliff’s Ethics in Communication class. In the beginning, we spent time learning philosophical principles but for the remainder of the semester we just talked. As a class we discussed dozens of case studies, sometimes lead by Professor Wycliff and other times by small groups of students.

Looking back, that ethics class was one of the most essential in my college career because Professor Wycliff gave me the opportunity critically analyze issues and practice communicating my thoughts on them for an entire semester.

About me:

My name is Jess Livinghouse and I’m a senior studying advertising and public relations. I currently work at a local non-profit as a communications assistant. I get excited about live music, trying new food and technology that improves lives. Be sure to check back on the School of Communication blog for my weekly updates!