Some see education solely in terms of professional training. College, so they think, will prepare them for a job — and the more money the better. There’s another element, far more important, behind and beyond the professional nature of college education. I call it the personal element.
Here’s a common situation for me: a student will tell me that his (or her) parents don’t want him (or her) to major in BTS (Biblical and Theological Studies) because he (or she) can’t make any money doing that or that he (or she) won’t be able to find a job (unemployable). What I say in such conversations is this: “Maybe BTS isn’t a professional degree, but I’m sure a future interviewer will be impressed if you are a mature person, regardless of the subject of your major. Employers yearn for people with character.” (We’ve not kept stats but I can say that our majors are all over the world in all forms of service and employment.)
Here’s my big point, and I’d love your response:
The most important element of a college education is what it does to us instead of what it does for us.
If we treat our classes as something to get through, assignments something to get done, tests something to pass, and college something to get out of, we’re treating college professionally.
However, if we simply (big term for me) let each class — even Biology! — be what it should be, and if we do our best to let its questions be our questions, and its solutions ours, and if we absorb the knowledge and relationships and do our best to let subjects interact with one another, and if (at the same time) we relate to people and grow with other people — college will do something to us and not just for us.
Education will mature (if you accept that as a verb) us; we will grow up; and when we walk away with our graduation diploma and tassle, we will be someone new — someone bigger and better. That is … if we let it do to us what it is designed to do.
College lasts four years (or if we’re lucky five) — we make the most of it if we let it make the most of us.