College advice, from people who have been there awhile

It’s easy to think that college classes are mainly about preparing you for a job. But remember: this may be the one time in your life when you have a chance to think about the whole of your life, not just your job. Courses in the humanities, in particular, often seem impractical, but they are vital, because they stretch your imagination and challenge your mind to become more responsive, more critical, bigger. You need resources to prevent your mind from becoming narrower and more routinized in later life. This is your chance to get them.

That is Martha Nussbaum of University of Chicago, one of nine contributors to the New York Times offering advice to undergraduates. All excellent.

3 thoughts on “College advice, from people who have been there awhile

  1. Pingback: On the 8 Spot » rePost : : College advice, from people who have been there awhile – Chris Blattman

  2. Like a lot of advice on college, I disagree based on personal experience. IMO, this advice (especially on what to read) just lacks realism and the “personal touch.”

  3. I always find this defense of humanities very weak. At its core is the assumption that humanities stretch your imagination etc, while science and engineering don’t. They might use different skills, but to say that the choice is between “practical” courses and courses that stretch your mind is ridiculous. Anyone who has taken a good sci/eng/math course knows that it can do all of these things.

    Someone should take humanities courses if they find the topic interesting and because it probably will be the last time most people have the free time to sit and intensely learn some of those topics. The courses and programs need to stand on their own merits and not on pseudo justifications of why they are better than other choices.