As another semester comes to an end, we start to reflect upon how much we have learned and how far we have come during our time in college.
A college education is a valuable asset in a changing world. It prepares you for not only what you want to do in life, but who you want to be. As Nelson Mandela once said, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”
True. Those who want to make a difference need the education they receive in college to find creative solutions to solve the world’s problems. Yet we often don’t realize a college education can also change who we are in the best of ways.
Many people say college is the best four years of your life, or if you’re a transfer student (like me) the best five years of your life. But the reasons people have given me for why college was such an important part of their life were all wrong. Yes, it’s fun to socialize with a variety of different people and to learn to get along with people who have a variety of different perspectives and are from different cultural backgrounds, and it enriches your character, but the reason college is the “best four years of your life” is it provides you an outlet to figure out who you want to be.
When I transferred to Delta State last year, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I’ve changed my major nearly three times since my freshman year in college, until I finally found something that works for me. Yes, it will take me an extra year to graduate, but in the process of changing majors and schools, I learned more about myself than I ever would have, had I decided not to come to DSU. Leaving behind a familiar environment wasn’t so hard for me because immersing yourself in a new environment is what college is all about.
What worried me most about transferring to Delta State was that I would have to give up studying broadcasting and choose a different major because Delta State doesn’t have a broadcast degree program. Having to explore a new field of study was a little nerve-wrecking because I had in my mind for so long that I was going to be a television broadcaster. Suddenly having to change my mind and decide on something else to major in meant having to figure out who I wanted to be, not necessarily what I wanted to do. However, choosing to study at Delta State was the best decision I ever made because Delta State has given me the opportunity to develop my skills and my mind.
The fact that Delta State is a small university means students can have more one-on-one instruction with their professors. Coming from a place where I had 100-200 students in my classes, I can say that definitely makes a difference. It feels more like a learning environment.
At many universities, so much emphasis is put on finishing a degree in four years that students miss out on taking the kinds of classes that further their education into a more well-rounded experience. College should be used as a time to develop your character as well as your education.