In a complete departure from the pragmatic approach in previous posts, this blog is for college students. The college experience is so much more than academics, graduation, and careers. The focus on the outcome and not the journey actually obscures the subtle but genuine benefits of college life. The lifelong friendships, the abysmal failures, and accomplishments that exceed the imagination are all part of the fabric of college life. Likewise, the passion developed for the college teams, politics, art, music, or whatever are also threads that bind together college life. And yes, even the parties, the late-night extravaganzas, the spring break road trips, and the enumerable (and often unspeakable) escapades are part of the whole cloth that forms college life.
Writers, more eloquent than I have conveyed the experiences and memories about the benefits of the college experience. In their ongoing efforts to enhance student retention, college administrators have tapped into the phenomenon that 1st-year students that engage in campus life and embrace the college experience have a 10% higher rate of returning the following year. This 'direct' involvement 'means' student organizations, fraternities or sororities, intramural sports, or other no academic engagement. It seems that being part of a community on campus has benefits.
But there is more to college life than the community. The current term is exposure to diversity. And most often, that diversity is not just ethnicity or culture but a broader disparity in world views. Of course, different backgrounds are inherent in many college settings. But also, students are exploring and learning different perspectives. They may, for a time, adapt or adopt a perspective different from their background. Interestingly, they may eventually find the new perspective wanting. The future may find them returning to their original base view and a deeper appreciation for its nuances and subtlety.
However, they may not. And all these adaptations and adoptions can lead to conflict. Some students find pure joy in arguing and debating. Freedom of expression can lead to some playing devil's advocate just for practice. Others can learn that debate leads to learning. These students may push their fellow students not out of spite or malice but to enhance their own understanding. Inevitably these discussions can lead to discomfort and even pain. It is a challenging time for students. But it is also a growth period. So again, this college life and experience grows the student.
It comes to my mind that the previous blog focused upon the college education's financial rewards and monetary returns. The numbers in that post may prove daunting. Some may use the insights of that post to argue against the pursuit of a college education. This post, however, focuses on the unmeasurable benefits. What is the dollar value of learning tolerance? How do we quantify the benefits to society of cohorts of college graduates that lived and grasped that different viewpoints are actually good? How to value that tolerance and exposure to alternate views? Or how to place a dollar return on exploring alternatives that help reinforce and deepen our own convictions? This valuation challenge seems to be the conundrum of the college experience. College is expensive in both time and money. All that have the college experience inherently know these benefits. However, the dollar value we cannot fully explain to others. College is just invaluable just because it is.
Many of you know that I am teaching B2B marketing #b2b #b2bmarketing using LinkedIn as the platform for the students to learn how to manage both a LeadGen and ABM campaign. Some may also know of my firm conviction that a university education is a transformative event. Combining these two important aspects of my life has led to this latest endeavor. I will be posting links to my blogs on the value ofHere are my essays.