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Higher education, in its broadest sense, is a way for people to further distinguish and qualify themselves for fields of careers that interest them. It also serves as a time for experimentation in one’s sense of self, where people get to discover themselves and what they would like to do for the rest of their lives. I decided to enroll in higher education to prove something to my family and to myself. I am the youngest of 5 children and I have always felt like I am being compared to them, their mistakes and successes were the basis on which mine were scaled to. I wanted to prove that I could break patterns my other siblings followed and become someone that my family couldn’t compare, someone my family had nothing to compare to yet because I was the first to accomplish it.
With that same line of thought though, I wanted to make my family proud. My father and my siblings have all noted my intelligence and drive to succeed and, as much as they can’t help but compare me to them, they are also extremely proud and hopeful for what I can do. Therefore, I want to make them proud, I want to be able to succeed in all the ways my father and siblings want me to succeed so that I don’t disappoint them or their hopes of me. Proving myself to and making my family proud are very similar sounding motives for enrolling in higher education, but they are very different to me; however, the main reason I enrolled in higher education is because I want to change the world. I have always loved being front and center, and have been described as an attention hog, and I desperately want to leave a mark on the world that changes it for the better. I believe that the way for me to do this lies within my chosen field, forensic science, and I know the best way to gather the knowledge to accomplish this is by attending college and learning as much as possible, so that’s what I plan to do.
Utah States degrees are structured with three main types of courses to help enrich all the students who attend college. The first set of courses, general courses, are often scoffed at and referred as the boring part of college. However, they hold a vital role in a post-secondary student’s education. Generals, even if they have absolutely nothing to do with a student’s major or career goal, provide a teaching in fundamentals. They are classes most students have taken, in some part, in high school, but in a college setting, giving students the ability to switch their learning style to a college setting and develop a new method of succeeding in their new environment. General classes also differ from high school courses to offer variability to students, give them a broader range of information to take in so that they can expose themselves to elements of education they never had before, and possibly even find their calling in them. Depth courses go along with some of the purposes of general courses in that they are their more for the development of skills than the need of that knowledge for your career.
Depth courses are there because no situations in any field of study, work or life, is contained within a single field. They may focus specifically on science or art or engineering, but they are a mixture of many different fields, information’s, and ways of thinking. Depth courses are there so that students can gain deeper insight of different forms and ways of thinking than the general courses offer and help them better develop communication and problem-solving skills. The major courses are thought of as the goal, the reward for getting through your general and depth courses, but are no more important or less important than the other two class types. They should interest you more, they should be classes that excite you and spark a fire in you that drives you through life, but that does not mean it’s the only thing that does that. Major courses are the stepping stones to give you actual information for the career you want, but more importantly they are exposing you to the specific type of questions you are going to be asked or need to ask in your chosen field or career. They are practice in applying the problem solving, communication, and critical thinking skills you acquired from the general and depth courses into the situations that really fascinate you and that you have chosen as your major.
These three class types help in the process of becoming a learner because as a person takes them, as I take these classes, they should be challenging, and stretching, and enticing students to ask questions, to seek answers, to fall in love with the learning process all over again. These classes open up the world of information to us, in the hopes that we dive in and learn as much as possible, and along the way we discover that it is not just facts that we are learning, but the key skills and techniques we need to survive in society as well: we learn how to become a learner.
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