Why I Love My Liberal Arts Education

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Confession: I have no idea what I want to do with my life. I don’t know what I want to do after graduation, I don’t know where I want to live or what kind of job I want to have. Sometimes, I think I know, and then I get distracted by something new and completely change my idea.

Confession: Coming into college, I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do. I had it all planned out: where I would live, what I would do, when I would do it. I was the annoying friend who let everyone know that I was going to be a politics major who then did the peace corps and then worked in D.C and this and that and you get the point.

Then I came to Oxy and my world changed. It all started in my CSP class, my first class of my first semester of college. The class was called Dionysus and Modern Thought. I had always loved theater, and specifically Greek Theater and classical history, so when there was a CSP class about my favorite God Dionysus I was thrilled. The class was by far my favorite class that semester, not only because it was just down right awesome and fascinating, but also because it opened by eyes to a path of study I never dreamed possible.

I am now a Comparative Studies in Literature and Culture major with a minor in Politics and probably a Classical Studies minor as well because why not. I had no idea that a thing I considered to be a fun hobby could be a course of study in college, and I could not be happier.

Here are three reasons why I love my major.

  • I get to study what I love. I love, and I mean love, Greek Theater and the Classics. I am taking Greek and learning how to parse adjective-noun phrases and read the Iliad. If you ask my professor and said, "Neah loves Greek participles," he would probably laugh because class mostly consists of me groaning, laughing, and then cheering when I translate a sentence correctly. But, I love it and I am so happy that I have found a major I can call mine.
  • I am learning how to think critically. Part of the major includes theory and philosophy. I am learning how to analyze Bataille and Lacan and apply it to Demi Lovato songs about Los Angeles (seriously, I wrote a paper on this). But more than that, I am learning to think critically about the world around me. How do the actions we take affect those around us? How do my thoughts and sense of self transcend to the community around me? How do I make this community? These are all questions I’ve had to discuss in classes I’ve taken through my major.
  • I am learning how to write. This is a big one. It is so important to be able to write well in the workforce and in life. This summer, I had an internship with a local organization in Utah, and when they found out I could write well, I started to write press releases and edit speaking points. I was able to do so much for the organization just based on what I have learned in my short time in college.

    These three reasons fall into a greater category of why I love my liberal arts degree. Let's be honest, a degree in Greek doesn't exactly translate into a job. I mean sure, I could go into academia but I don't know if I want to. Right now, I think I still want to be that girl that will do political things and the peace corps and work in D.C. The great thing about a liberal arts degree is that I can still do that, even with the major I have. In fact, I am pretty confident I can do anything with my major. Not because of its specific topic, but because of what it is teaching me to do. I am learning how to work hard, think critically, and write well which are all things I will need when I enter the workforce. So maybe I don’t know what I want to do yet, but I know with my major and my liberal arts degree I will be able to do whatever passion I stumble into next.