By this point in time, the meaning of a liberal arts college has been repeatedly forced into one ear, and once this happens, you immediately try to push it back out the other. I get it: you don’t care. But it’s important to care. And on Sept. 3, Todd Giles organized a guest panel including professors Kirsten Lodge, Ann Marie Leimer and Nathan Jun, who explained in painstaking detail what a liberal arts college means to students. During this panel, students like myself learned what it meant to attend said college, and also learned how an audience is more likely to pay attention if food is involved.
The truth is: most students didn’t pick MSU because it’s a liberal arts college. I know that it wasn’t a deciding factor in my application, at least. That doesn’t mean I don’t like the fact that MSU is a liberal arts college, but it does mean that kids aren’t looking for that quality, and that is especially true for those students who are going to be on their own for what may be the first time in their life.
When I first arrived, I met several people who struck me as “small town” — who thought a certain way and looked a certain way only because that’s what their whole town looked like before they left, and most likely had for the whole of their existence. A week ago, I saw those people again, and they had done a complete turnaround. They now had piercings, dyed hair, different clothes (wrong application of ‘liberal’).
Although I did not apply to MSU for its liberal arts education, I am convinced that this is a quality that will improve each student’s education. College is a time for finding oneself, and I will not find myself if I were to follow the mindset and ideologies that has been continuously instilled in me since I was a young child. MSU is offering me a chance to expand my knowledge and find myself within that knowledge, and to apply myself to problems that arise throughout my life that require an opinion.
Though at times during my education, I find myself wondering when I will ever use the knowledge that I’m being taught. The answer is that I will use that knowledge as soon as I acquire it. As soon as I learn it, I will have to apply it to my life. A liberal arts college will gift me with an arrayed range of knowledge, which I can use in any situation, if I chose to.
Although it may be annoying to hear about it constantly (trust me, I know), it is important that students should understand that their education will be positively affected by a liberal arts college, which serves to provide students with a broader general knowledge. The guest panel on Sept. 3 was extremely long — but the professors involved were given a chance to offer their opinions, and even their opinions have changed through this liberal arts education.