Embracing education

My experience at Ferris State University was one with many variables and multiple paths that ultimately led me in unexpected directions.

I came to Ferris for the hotel management program in the fall of 2006. It took me around a semester to realize that this field was not the right fit for me and that I wanted to do something with the field of writing. This is where I stepped into journalism.

For my latter three years of college I have studied journalism along with the two minors I picked up along the way, political science and philosophy. I have had a very interdisciplinary experience at Ferris, and this has helped me to take the next step, graduate school.

Ferris is known around the state and wider Midwest region as a career school, a technical school and various other titles of a university that is focused on getting students a job post-graduation. Only in recent years have a few programs sprouted up that are more on the liberal arts side of education.

Admittedly, I am much more of a liberal arts type of student. I feel that learning should be valued for its own sake and for the fact that it can better the individual, independent of future career opportunities. Because of this mindset, I have often felt out of place here.

The fact that Ferris is so career-driven is not necessarily a bad thing. I happen to prefer a different style of education, but there is value in focusing an education toward a career.

There are a select number of professors and programs in which one can tell they truly want to be in the academic environment and they want their students to learn for more than simply “surviving in the work world.” If one looks closely and researches his or her professors, the Ferris experience can be adapted to any student’s needs and desires.

This strategy worked for me because now I am off to get my Masters in social and political thought at the University of Sussex in southern England. My interdisciplinary undergraduate degree proved very favorable to a program of this breed.

My advice in closing, as this is my last column here at the Torch, is to embrace your field of study for all it is worth, and understand the value in classes outside of that concentration. Learning about other ideas can only illuminate the areas you came here to study.

The university is a very special place. I believe there is a serious internal maturity that a student goes through in attending college that a person doesn’t get without it. So, go out there and learn about many things, exercise intellectual freedom and experience the world; it can only lead you in a better direction. n