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Opinion

The Unspoken Social and Emotional Benefits of a College Education

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A college education is one of the most significant milestones in one's life. As a parting gift, your college education will reward you with innumerable practical and workplace-applicable skills to improve your marketability. Traditionally, most assume that a college education is only about financial and academic benefits. However, this preconceived notion couldn't be further from the truth.

While it's certainly true that a college education often furnishes us with economic and intellectual advancement, other hidden benefits come with a college degree. For example, while earning an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, a student will derive emotional and health benefits vital for success in one’s education, career, and personal life.

Of course, to access the above-mentioned benefits, you’ll need to successfully apply and enroll in the higher-education institution of your choice. If you’re in the process of applying for colleges, it's important to [know how to write essays and] check out the admissions calculator by CollegeData. Using this online resource, students can calculate their chances of gaining admission to over 2,000 colleges and universities in the country. It's an easy process that helps estimate your admission chances and explains the rationale behind the results.

Social and emotional benefits of college education

After submitting a college application and receiving an acceptance letter [here's a professional essay writer to help with your application process], you might wonder what awaits you in college. The reality is that these two to four years of college are packed full of fun and opportunities to exercise your independence, two things most college-aged students seek out.

However, the fun of spending time with your roommates and exploring the real-world are just two components of most students’ college experience. By the time you earn your associate’s or bachelor’s degree, you’ll have gained numerous social and emotional benefits along the way.

The social/emotional learning (SEL) that students go through in colleges is incomparable. It helps students achieve the following:

  • Setting achievable positive goals
  • Showing empathy and sympathy to others
  • Being responsible
  • Interacting positively with others

A concrete SEL program helps students capitalize on the following emotional and mental health benefits.

Boosted self-esteem

If you finished high school and felt plagued by low self-esteem, by the time you’ve completed your undergraduate degree, your self-esteem will have increased. Why? Because the college environment promotes emotional and mental growth.

Without your parents' physical presence to provide guidance, social interaction is an unspoken survival tactic in colleges. As a college student, you’ll get to refine the interpersonal skills that help you interact better with your peers, raising your self-esteem. Upon graduation, you can carry these skills into a workplace environment or a potential interview.

Increases independence

One of the hallmarks of a college education is an increased sense of independence. Most graduates will claim the most notable benefit of the college experience is the freedom to set your sleeping schedule, plan your study sessions as you see fit, and engage in risky behaviors your parents would otherwise disapprove of. While a college campus may sound like a free-for-all, it’s a perfect environment to cultivate your autonomy.

Although some students choose to ignore their parents’ advice to abstain from drugs and alcohol, this increased sense of independence isn’t entirely dangerous. For many, college empowers students to live on their own. It helps students make decisions and own them. Similarly, if they make mistakes, they learn from them and make better judgments in the future.

Improves self-awareness

The support system, composed of roommates, mentors, professors, and friends, helps students become self-aware of who they are. In a college environment, students understand why they behave in a certain way and learn how it affects other people. This self-awareness helps students make responsible decisions and stay mindful of others’ needs.

Additionally, self-awareness encourages college students to mature into the adults they’re supposed to become. To avoid stunted growth, immerse yourself in clubs, study groups, and roommate bonding activities.

Promotes emotional stability

Through programs like SEL (social and emotional learning), students are less likely to exhibit stress, depressive symptoms, and symptoms of anxiety conditions. Even when faced with challenging situations, students feel equipped with enough life skills to resolve the problems at hand and self-soothe.

Unfortunately, SEL programs can’t guarantee that students will remain 100 percent stress-proof. However, these programs promise to equip students with proactive stress management skills, reducing the chances of suffering from a debilitating mental breakdown due to intensive course loads.

Enhances relationships with others

College education instills social skills in students, which leads to positive social behavior. With these skills in their back pocket, students can relate better with peers, teachers, parents, and the general public. These interpersonal skills are enhanced further when teachers challenge students to look beyond the classroom and engage in networking activities. [You will need to use one of the best laptops for college students to hand in all your assignments in time and keep in touch with your peers and professors.]

In most cases, college students get to build relationships that last for a lifetime. Sometimes, a student will connect with a professor, who can later refer them to a full-time position. Others will build a close group of friends bound to appear in the graduate’s bridal party. Either way, these two to four years are an excellent opportunity to expand your current social network.

Increases motivation

This self-driven motivation will eventually kick-in when students leave their parents and home communities to start their college journey. Once a student has acquired the discipline necessary, they’ll notice an innate drive to excel in academics and personal growth matters. This drive is even more pronounced when students participate in extracurricular activities, such as sports and political organizations.

Non-academic engagements provide a fertile ground for students to learn group dynamics. This way, students develop leadership and followership skills that motivate them to become dependable team players in the future.

To conclude

No longer are the days when faculty and staff expect students to cast their emotions aside and focus solely on academics. Today, besides benefiting students academically and financially, a college education is integral in equipping students with emotional benefits to cope with daily challenges.

Students cultivate excellent skills in problem-solving and emotional management when attending university. Such benefits guarantee long-standing effects that benefit schools, society, and the workplace. With these bonuses in mind, consider attending college even if a degree won’t necessarily ensure a pay increase in your chosen industry.

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