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Why College Is Important Socially and Culturally

written by: Natalia Brophy•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 6/28/2011

College is not only about becoming smart and getting a diploma. It is also about connections, relationships, friendships and great interpersonal skills which are incredibly useful in life. Learn why college is important socially and culturally in this informative article.

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    We all know that college degrees make resumes look better and that often means better jobs later in life. However, many graduates agree that the social and cultural benefits of a college degree are not any less important than financial and economic. Here are the main reasons why college is important socially and culturally.

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    One of the biggest benefits of having a college degree is self-respect. Many people with low self-esteem admit that finishing a college degree has increased their self-esteem and self-respect. They became more confident with themselves and as a result, more confident with people around them. Personal satisfaction is also closely linked with happiness and as Denis Waitley, a famous author once said “Personal satisfaction is the most important ingredient of success”.

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    Interpersonal Skills

    Whether you are a loner or a social butterfly, your interpersonal skills are going to improve greatly in college. You will constantly have to interact with professors as well as the other students. You will be forced to interact even with people you don’t like or with people from different backgrounds who you are not very comfortable speaking with. Getting out of your comfort zone may not be pleasant or easy at first, but unless you plan on living your life in a bubble, it is incredibly important.

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    Another reason why college is important socially and culturally is that it will make you more open-minded. The world is turning global and no matter which career path you choose, there is a good chance you will be working with people from different backgrounds, religions and countries. Even if you went to a diverse middle or high school, you still will benefit from diversity in your college greatly, especially if you choose to live in a dorm. Cultural diversity doesn’t have to mean a different race or different language. Culture can mean different parts of town, different income levels or even different ways of thinking. The more cultures you are exposed to in college, the more inter-culturally competent you will become.

    Many misunderstandings between different cultures occur due to stereotyping and lack of knowledge about cultures different from your own. Being exposed to different cultures in college is going to help you understand and hopefully, respect them. You will also gain a broader world view, which can change you and your ways of thinking.

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    Does Getting an Online Degree Have the Same Benefits?

    Some may think that getting an online degree doesn’t have any social or cultural benefits.

    True, you may not get as much exposure to different cultures, but you will still be able to improve your social and communication skills. We live in a world of technology ruled by Facebook, Twitter, text messages and emails. Written communication and technology became inseparable parts of our lives, so interacting with your professors and peers through the Internet is going to help you get more comfortable with technology and will develop your writing skills, which many people are lacking.

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    Most college graduates agree that going to college was worth both the money and the hassle. Even if you end up not using your degree, the experience you get in college is going to help you become more open-minded, more confident and culturally competent. When you consider why college is important socially and culturally, you will see that it will help you develop interpersonal communication skills which you will be using everywhere you go.