Grasping a Liberal Arts Degree and Practically applying Structured Education- Where to start? •What practical resources are available that will help me build a perspective and prepare myself for the work of structured education?
•What resources are available that will help me sharpen the pathway I am attempting to find and pave?
•What sort of experiences will be very applicable to immediate, real-life circumstances and livelihood?
•How to "best apply" a Liberal Arts Degree, and other options?
•Other tricks, tips, and hints for using college as a filter to a more enriched life?
posted by thewolfandewe to Education (12 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I'll preface this by mentioning that these questions are obviously fairly specific to my personal disposition. However, I do find that what I am searching for can absolutely be helpful or insightful to a general demographic of others, who are probably wondering the same thing.
I am twenty two, and have never pursued college. I am filling out the FAFSA, tonight, and feeling pretty overwhelmed by deadlines. My family is completely supported by social security, and is currently facing eviction. I work two jobs; one full time, one on-call, and I started applying for a third, part-time, today. I moved from my home in Michigan to Oregon at age eighteen.
I was a stellar student for my first two years in high school, and maintain fluid skills in english/language. I held high marks in the courses that piqued my interests(Advanced/College English, Science, Art, generally all veins of Liberal Arts- etc.), but sadly due to family issues, my GPA likely dropped from somewhere near a 3.6-7 to a 2.7ish my junior year. I have never taken the ACTs/SATs. Within this month, I'll brush up using Khan's Academy and other resources, so with any luck, I'll be able to skip some courses after the Community College Aptitude test. I really would rather pursue University immediately, but with a low GPA, it may not be possible. However, I am exploring Student Support Services.
I am not sure how to feel about Federal or other Financial Aid - even on such simple grounds as how exactly it works, how to trust it, and how to navigate around elements of financial aid.
I have a loosely based understanding of what obtaining or working towards a Liberal Arts Degree really means, but I find it is likely the path I'll choose.
I believe I will be working toward a degree in Linguistics, but I am also interested in Library Sciences. I would like to work towards a major that will help me focus on philosophy, art, psychology, humanitarian aid, and enable me to travel.
Rather than gearing this thread to help me personally, I'm trying to keep it tailored so it at least falls in line with Metafilter's Guidelines and enables others to learn as well.
Everything seems so very broad right now - inverting the classic phrase, it's very difficult to see the trees in the forest for the time being. I feel like I have so many other questions, I'm just sort of starting the sketch of a very large piece right now - so if you're reading this, thank you for baring with me.
Books, blogs, articles, anything relative to the way to practically apply college and college courses to my life are all of interest right now. Free or inexpensive is always nice, but I would be interested in paid resources/counseling as well. Tips on grants, scholarships, timing and deadlines, aid.. Hints on discovering what sort of courses or subject matter will really work best for me. I'm of the perspective right now, that I need only take classes that apply to my major - which seems like such a shame, because I thrive on so many other interests that might enrich my life.
On a personal note, essentially what holds interest in my heart of hearts, is enabling myself to travel, traverse a myriad of cultures, involve myself in humanitarian work and a global understanding, and enable myself to become an illustrator along the way. It's such a vague, grand scheme, sure, but this is what I'm interested in. I would have loved to become an illustrator beforehand, but I find it's likely counterintuitive to how great my expectations are; while perhaps in some ways is impractical as a whole, it is mildly more practical to pursue the aforementioned path.
So Metafilter, what are some practical suggestions for using college as a filter for a more enriching life? And how to holdfast to college, help yourself learn, and use it practically?