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Off to 35th College Reunion - Less Play, More Gray?

Tomorrow I'm on my way to my 35th Middlebury College reunion. That's right, 35 years out of college and what did a BA in Biology do for me?

Quite a lot, it turns out, even though I'm working in marketing at a software company and haven't won the Nobel Prize for my work in molecular biology.  Of course I've done some stuff, but my 4 years at Middlebury taught me much more important things than functional expertise.  So here, with 35 years of perspective and the gray hair to prove it, I offer the top 5 things I got out of a Liberal Arts education in the rolling hills of Vermont:

  1. Critical Thinking - I got pushed hard at Middlebury to look beyond the surface of things.  That hard won skill has served me well not only in business, but also in picking the guy who's stood by me for 28 years.
  2. Discipline - I had to do lots of things I didn't enjoy at college - mandatory phys ed, physics and organic chemistry.  I learned to look beyond short term pain to long term gain.
  3. Broader Horizons - I grew up in small towns and went to college in a small town.  But boy did that small college town expand my understanding of other people, other cultures, other times.  And maybe even a little more self awareness.
  4. Humility - I was the "smart kid" in a very small pond in high school.  College was a humbling experience that taught me to appreciate my strengths but also acknowledge my weaknesses and work on them.
  5. Lifelong Friendships - Some of my dearest friends have died, but many are still in my life - if not in person, than via emails and Facebook.  We had an intense four years during which we shared study groups, drinking, water fights, cross-country skiing, and angst over our futures.  We keep each other honest.

What about you?  Do you still feel a college education is worth it?

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