Why College is the Best Personal Development Environment

Going to university gives you a depth of understanding of the world that few other things can.


I want to first acknowledge that I am completely speaking in hyperbole with this title. College is one of the greatest places for personal development if you're a young adult. It is also insanely expensive.


When I first started applying, I thought college was just school. I was wrong; it's so much more than that. College is a place where you are committed to learning and improving. And that applies to almost every area of your life, not just academics.


Keep reading for the ways college (aka university) can aid and facilitate personal development.

 

You're forced to learn new subjects

This is the big obvious one. Studying the world, its history, and all of its complicated inner workings is a great privilege. College allows you to take general education courses just like high school, but you have tons more choices. You can broaden the knowledge areas under your belt this way by choosing things that interest you but aren't necessarily your core competency.


For example, alongside my marketing and business core classes, I've been able to learn about philosophy, poetry, coding, and sociology (to name a few) which are all subjects I never knew I would have loved so much.


You get to practice living on your own

I touched a lot on this in my Financial Tips for College Students post. I did not get a lot of practice standing on my own two feet financially in high school. I am super grateful that I didn't have to at the time, but college has been the place where I got to do that. I've paid my own rent, gotten a credit card, bought my own groceries, etc.


It also prepares you to do "life admin" on your own. Things like paying bills, scheduling appointments, calling a repairman, planning trips, or making budgets are things no one thinks about having to do when you're younger. You get to have more agency over your life, which comes with worthy responsibilities.


Mentorship is abundant

People are so much more willing to help you when you're a student because you're not competition. It's kinda sad but it's true. I've been able to talk to amazing people throughout my four years at RIT and it never ceases to amaze me how willing people are to help you if you just ask. I've spoken to countless entrepreneurs, learned about tons of different business professions, and gotten advice from people from various walks of life.


If you do decide to go to university I highly suggest trying to connect with your professors, counselors, guest speakers, local leaders, etc. Connecting with these people is a rich experience in and of itself, and your connections will open more doors for you because they'll bring your name up when opportunities become available.


You have space to be who you want

Although this is more abstract, this is my favorite part about coming to college and what saved my mental health. Think of your mind as a tree in a planter. Although you may feel like an adult in high school, you're really just a sapling. You are confined to a small pot, with little room to grow. Once you leave for college, you shed the bounds that were reinforced by your hometown, the people you've known since you were a toddler, and your parents.


For the first time, you have the room to reach out and grab at anything you want, mostly unrestricted. You grow deeper and higher into the person you actually want to be, not just the one others wanted you to be. You will do stupid things and learn from them, but you will also do great things and reap the rewards. Once you reach the other side of your college career you will have blossomed into someone maybe unrecognizable to you now, but you'll be better for it.

 

I hope this was helpful! There are tons of places and things that are great for facilitating personal growth; college/university is just one that I can speak to. If you liked this post, you'll love the ones below! If you want to see more of my day to day, come find on insta @ariels_view :)

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My name is Ariel and I'm super passionate about mental health, self-help, and personal growth...

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