Last week, high school seniors sent in their deposits and letters of intent. This time of year undoubtedly raises new speculations about the necessity of a college education. Are the mind-boggling tuition payments worth it? Are we really guaranteed success with four years of an undergraduate education?
Liberal arts schools like Sarah Lawrence are especially under fire, given our seemingly cloudy impression of “practical knowledge.” Without practice in economics and math, how can we hope to function in a world of technicalities, numbers and negotiations? Are we turning graduates loose after four years, only to leave them stranded on an island of knowledge that is solely philosophical and conceptual?
Yet amidst these voices of doubt, here we are at Sarah Lawrence. We offer those economics and math classes to those who want them, and they are not in 200-person lecture halls. We are wrapping up the school year having written two 15-20-page papers each semester for each class. Topics range from the Evolution of Hip-Hop to The Ugly Truth: Attraction and Gender Roles as Portrayed by Hollywood. We have produced plays and novels, films and science experiments. Not only are we learning how to think, we are learning how to run a creative process to full fruition. With the conference system, we know how to present our ideas with confidence, revise for clarity, and converse with our professors who have spent years immersed in their subject of expertise. It’s hard to get away with bullshit in a one-on-one interaction.
The experience we get at Sarah Lawrence can translate seamlessly to “real world” knowledge. SLCSpeaks’ “Work” section seeks to prove our professional capabilities and illuminate opportunities that, as students, we are uniquely privy to. We’ll feature articles on internship ups and downs, updates on how to look for jobs and alum success stories. We’re about information and encouragement. In the words of Nicki Minaj, “I get what I desire, it’s my empire.” Believe it, Sarah Lawrence. It’s time to go to work.