The Beauty Of Liberal Arts
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

The Beauty Of Liberal Arts

More than artsy Democrats

The Beauty Of Liberal Arts
Wofford, Ramin Radfar

When I began my college search, I categorized my potential school choices into two categories: large schools vs. small schools. The title "Liberal Arts" was equivalent to the category of "small schools;" I didn't learn the real meaning of the term "Liberal Arts" until I began looking more closely at schools like Wofford, Furman and Davidson.

Growing up, I always visualized myself attending the University of South Carolina. Since my Dad is a Gamecock alumni, I was raised to bleed garnet and black, cheer "Go Cocks" and Sandstorm with a few thousand of my best friends. I loved cheering on USC football, basketball and baseball teams, as I still do. For many years, I envisioned myself attending USC; for a while, I even anticipated riding for the USC Equestrian Team. (fun fact, I now ride for the Wofford Equestrian Team.) However, despite how much I love my Gamecocks, I realized shortly after touring USC and other (smaller) colleges that I preferred the latter.

Now that I had narrowed my college search to the "small school" category, I had to figure out what the deal was with the term "Liberal Arts." Representatives from such schools tossed around the term "Liberal Arts" as if every high school student in their audience knew what it meant. Every once in a while, the representatives would give a textbook definition of "Liberal Arts," but even that didn't suffice for my comprehension of what a Liberal Arts education consisted of.

In all honesty, I didn't fully understand the significance of a Liberal Arts education until my classes at Wofford commenced. My Humanities class, a requirement for all freshmen at Wofford, quickly became my favorite class. Entitled "Art, the Artist, and the World," the topic for our first paper was The Role of Art in a Liberal Arts Education. If I didn't know what the term "Liberal Arts" meant before writing this paper, I certainly had a good grasp on its meaning afterward.

Rewind to my senior year of high school for just a moment.

If I had a dollar for each time a classmate asked me why I wanted to go to a Liberal Arts college, I would probably have enough dollars to pay for the majority of my college tuition which (unfortunately) is saying a lot. The most commonly asked question of my attendance at a Liberal Arts college is "why do you want to go to such an expensive school?" (Answer: I didn't choose my college simply because it was expensive, I chose it because I felt it was the best place for me to continue my education and develop a variety of skills) In addition, I was also asked about the stereotypical misconceptions concerning the words "liberal" and "art." To clarify: when used in the context of "Liberal Arts," "liberal" does not refer to a political preference, but instead is related to its latin root- "liber," meaning free (as in open-mindedness). "Arts" in this sense are not confined to studio arts but include theater, music, reading and writing. Too often, peoples' notions of Liberal Arts colleges are based on these misconceptions. In reality, Liberal Arts colleges are not just for artistic Democrats who aspire to pay as much as possible for their education. (In fact, that's not at all what Liberal Arts colleges are.)

Here's what I realized Liberal Arts colleges are really all about (straight from my very first college paper):

"It (a Liberal Arts education) emphasizes the importance of both the arts, which allow broadening of one’s mind and learned skills, which allow for practical benefit, into one educational genre. It is necessary to recognize that one without the other is not a practical means in which to go about getting an education... In conclusion, it is important to remember that art itself is not the focus of a liberal arts education. Although an appreciation for the works of writers, musicians, and other artists is beneficial, the role of art in a liberal arts education is much more than that. Instead, the role of art in a liberal arts education is to make students more aware of what they believe, why they believe this and how they came to believe it..."

So here I am, a freshman at a Liberal Arts school. Although I plan on majoring in English and minoring in Business, who knows what subjects I may discover along the way (even in my general education requirements) that I may genuinely enjoy and decide to expand upon. Since I have a passion for writing, I presume my plan to major in English will stay in place. However, I am excited to attend a school where I may, at any point, stumble upon new and fascinating domains. The prospect of gaining knowledge and intellect through various subject areas is truly thrilling to me. This is what a Liberal Arts college is all about.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

Where To Find The Best Coffee Drinks In America, According To A Survey

Here's the coffee shop where you should get your morning brew.


Coffee, for billions of people, is one of the only things that can get us out of bed (after hitting snooze a time or two), especially in 2020. Because, if we're being honest, is there anything that beats a quality cup of coffee on those mornings when all we wanted to do is roll over and go back to sleep? The answer is no. And if you're headed to a coffee shop to pick up your caffeinated beverage, you don't want to sleep on the best coffee drinks in America.

According to LiveShopper Sassie's Coffee Project survey, when it comes to chain coffee shops, there are definitely preferred spots you'll want to hit up for your go-to order — whether you order the classic, frozen, or flavored coffee, an espresso, tea, or other. To figure out the hot spots, 1,000 coffee drinkers across the United States took to LiveShopper's mobile app, PrestoShopper, to answer various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

No matter what job you wish to pursue or where you'll end up in your career, writing will always be an invaluable skill.

Just ask Julia Waterbury, a former Odyssey creator and college graduate with a business degree, for whom this couldn't be more true! Though she began by using Odyssey as a creative outlet, she quickly learned it was so much more and soon was able to include her articles and skills (from writing and editing to SEO and social media marketing) to up her resume game.

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Survey: Which Issues Are The Most Important To You In The 2020 Election

If you're a first-time voter or voting by mail for the first time, we want to hear your story.


The general election on Tuesday, November 3, 2020, will decide not only the next president of the United States but also which political party controls the House of Representatives and the Senate. Young and first-time voters will play a crucial part in determining the result.

Keep Reading... Show less

I haven't had sex since I lost my virginity at the end of my sophomore year of high school and now I'm a freshman in college, so I'd like to say I know a thing or two about not having sex. Here are four lessons I've learned over the last two years of abstinence.

Keep Reading... Show less

Articles To Write If You're All About Saving More Money, And Waking Up A Little Bit Earlier

Get your day started right — and keep that budget tight.


For all the young professionals, parents, and students out there who've been working, learning, or even teaching remote — 2020 has likely been the longest year of your life. If you didn't know (sorry), we've been locked down for over 200 days now, and chances are, you are ready for it to be OVER.

Keep Reading... Show less

Last night on "The Bachelorette," Yosef (aka the guy who was accused of sliding into women's DMs before the show began filming) continued his streak of red flags by calling Clare "crazy."

To give you a little more context, this red flag happened after Clare got very upset with the guys on her group date for not making an effort to speak to her one-on-one when the opportunity arose and an awkward silence ensued. Because of this, she was clearly embarrassed and ended up having to ask them to ask her to go for a walk, which was... painful to watch (and probably to live out).

Keep Reading... Show less

How Much Of A Coffee Snob You Are, Based On Where You Live

Your state may determine how picky you are about your coffee.


When it comes to coffee, everyone has different criteria for what goes into their "perfect cup." Some caffeine lovers, though, are extra particular when it comes to their beloved beverage. One survey found that the state you're from (or the one you live in now) may play a part in determining how much of a coffee snob you actually are.

LiveShopper Sassie, the company behind this Coffee Project survey, received input from 1,000 coffee drinkers via their mobile app, PrestoShopper, to ask various questions about their coffee drinking habits and preferences. In return, these survey respondents got money back for their coffee — something any user who downloads the app can do as well (yes, even you).

Keep Reading... Show less

The Best Air Fryers To Gift THAT Person In Your Life Who Always Cooks For You

I use mine more than my oven, toaster, and microwave combined.


It took me a long time to understand what the point of an air fryer really was. Couldn't I just bake something and get the same consistency?

My opinions took a total 180 when several years ago my mom made some delicious, homemade crispy fries. I was shocked when she told me she made them in her air fryer. Without a single drop of oil, they felt crispy and indulgent, unlike anything I have been able to achieve in an oven.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Deleted Social Media For A Week And My Mood Instantly Improved

I removed the digital pressures from my life and it made a huge difference.


From the time I downloaded Instagram until now, the world that is social media has drastically changed. I remember being 13 years old and posting several pictures a day — whenever, whatever I wanted to. Whether it was an unedited selfie or a screenshot of somebody's Notes App with the caption "Repost for good luck!" my social media journey started out as casual and exciting.

Keep Reading... Show less

18 Of The Best 'The Bachelorette' Tweets That Perfectly Sum Up Season 16, Episode 2

"Cast an older bachelorette they said, she'll be more mature they said."


"The Bachelorette" is FINALLY back, and season 16 is already off to a — dare I say it? — DRAMATIC start.

There is no fandom more involved and invested than Bachelor Nation, so naturally, viewers had A LOT of thoughts during last night's premiere. And honestly, the only thing more entertaining than watching a new episode of "The Bachelor" is following the live tweets fans post while it airs.

Keep Reading... Show less

As a teenage girl, I can safely say that a pregnancy scare is horrifying. I'm not one to say that becoming a young parent is bad, but for many, it is not the ideal situation to be in. Going through a pregnancy scare leads to a lot of unwanted worries until that period comes, or a test reads "positive."

Keep Reading... Show less

Being an inexperienced tumbler, I have had my fair share of mental blocks. There have been weeks where I can't even do a back walkover properly — I tense up and freeze. I thought that saying that my mental block wasn't real would make it go away, but it didn't. The reason? I didn't believe it. I just said it and hoped for the best, all while knowing that I wasn't going to do whatever skill I was struggling with. It frustrated me and made me so insecure about the progress I was making even when I was told that I was doing well. All I saw were the mistakes and times I didn't try at all.

Keep Reading... Show less

Struggling to find the perfect Halloween costume? No worries, just think of all your exes. I know it is frightening, but that's what makes it the PERFECT Halloween costume.

Keep Reading... Show less

The Spooky Dating Drinking Game To Get Boo-zed Up With Your Pumpkin This Halloween

Beware: you'll be summoning the ghosts of exes past.


Halloween 2020 is going to be pretty different, but that doesn't mean the ghost stories have to social distance themselves. In fact, after a year like this one, what's a few more horror stories to add to the mix? If you and your partner dare, this boo-zy drinking game will definitely add a little spook into your All Hallows' Eve plans. Think you're brave enough to share your scariest dating stories with your pumpkin this October 31? You've come to the right spot.

This is the Ultimate Spooky Dating Drinking Game. Here's how it works:

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments