Intellectual Growth in College

By Chelsea Hetherington

One of the greatest benefits of college is the intellectual exploration you can do there. For many students, college is the first opportunity to focus on a particular subject or career path of interest, or to learn about topics not covered in traditional high school classes.

Here are some of the learning opportunities you may have if you decide to attend college that will support your intellectual growth.

Dive Deeper

Going to college gives you an opportunity to dive deeper into subjects and explore from new angles.

  • Your high school might not have offered opportunities to learn a new language, but you can likely learn Spanish, French, Chinese, and many other languages in college. 
  • You might have studied subjects such as chemistry or history in high school, and feel eager to take more challenging classes in these subjects. Going to college may allow you to take organic chemistry or history classes that cover other areas or populations of the world.
  • A college or university may offer classes or majors in subjects you’ve never learned about before, such as sociology, anthropology, engineering, philosophy, and gender studies.

Attending college may also give you access to resources such as expert lectures, mentorship, vast libraries, and advanced research facilities.

Learn New Hands-On Skills

You might have had hands-on experiences in high school, such as working on a science project in a lab, but going to college will take those experiences to a whole new level. You may have access to more high-tech labs and run more advanced experiments, get to interview people and write articles for a student newspaper, or go to a field site and identify fossils in an archeology class. College will not only give you a chance to learn more, but also do more.

Expand Your Views

College coursework will challenge you in ways your high school classes did not. Your professors may also push you to think in ways you may have never considered. 

You may have to approach writing in new ways, supplementing assignments with research and data. You may have a formal class debate as an assignment and open your mind to new ideas shared by your peers. Simply attending class could push you to reconsider certain aspects of your lifestyle or things you might have taken for granted. Through these experiences, you’ll develop a richer view of the world’s complexity, with a more informed and open-minded perspective. 

Outside the classroom, you will be meeting people who come from different backgrounds or parts of the country or world, and you can learn and grow from hearing their perspectives, experiences, and points of view.

Find Your Passion

College is a unique time of exploration, allowing you to sample and learn about a diverse range of subjects and career paths. From arts and sciences to business and technology, college gives you the opportunity to try new things and find what resonates with you. Perhaps you already have an idea of what you want to do with your life, but for the majority of students, college provides an opportunity to explore different options and find the thing (or things) you care about most.

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