Emma Augustine – 1851 Staff
Throughout my childhood, “the college experience” was a term discussed at the dinner table, lectured about at school, and reflected by my older brother and sister. I was skeptical from the beginning of the application process about the stress and pressure that accompanies college. Senior year of high school I only applied to one school while my peers completed almost 13 applications. Convinced that I would not be accepted to my college of choice, I formulated a plan for a gap year. The fantastical gap year plan changed when I was, to my surprise, accepted to Connecticut College.
But now I am in the bizarre position of experiencing two colleges. I will be graduating from Conn. College in May, but I will finish my last two undergrad credits at Lasell. I am subconsciously evaluating how my two college experiences are affecting my view of my future career.
As of December, leaving school with one semester ahead gave me a sense of eagerness, with no sense of preparedness. Upon attending Lasell, I realize that my post- graduate anxiety has dwindled. This idea makes me feel conflicted about my collegiate pursuits.
While attending a liberal arts school as an English literature major and a dance minor, I have learned all about critical and divergent thinking. I can talk about Walt Whitman or Vladimir Nabokov for hours, discuss the pros and cons of feminist theories, and compose critical essays about anything from the soundtrack of a Hitchcock film to the psychological affects of children’s books. I have received help from a career advisor that led me to an internship. These are all experiences that I highly value. Still I wonder, will what I have learned prove to be “valuable” in the job market of today?
Lasell, however, has already helped me collect my knowledge and shape it in a way that is employable. Professor Marie Franklin and her class of communication students pair their focus on ability to write clearly along with discussions of the job market. The weight that Lasell places on the knowledge of one’s field is what gives me a sense or readiness. While I value both colleges teaching styles I have experienced, I think it is important for all colleges to discuss the job market as part of their curriculum.
A major perk of Lasell is that it is more economical than my soon to be alma mater. For instance, the tuition for a full time student at Lasell is half the cost of my previous tuition as a full time student. However, I recognize that my classes are equally as challenging and thought-provoking as classes I have previously taken.
Lasell’s approach towards education is also economical in the sense that it is set up to literally “pay off” through a career. My peers at my original school graduate with an incredible knowledge of an array of topics, but many English Literature majors may go on to graduate school. As an individual who would like to seek employment directly after my undergrad years, it is a relief to experience an approach that integrates jobs directly into the educational aspect of each class.
I was surprised to find that Lasell has just as many career services as my previous campus. I was not aware that Career Services existed at Lasell until my professor encouraged me to go to the office and inquire about a meeting.
All of the academic buildings I have been inside of at Lasell provide their students with computers and printers. This convenience came as a shock to me—I am used to only having access to a printer at the library.
I could continue comparing the two colleges, but instead, I will leave you with my blunt opinion that is based on the above comparisons. I think the price comparison regarding the drastic difference in tuitions is a result of economic status and prestige. If a college brands itself as prestigious or a “mini Ivy,” tuition can increase. In the future, employers may judge me based on where my degree is from, but I know that a recognizable name is not the only thing that matters. I am a firm believer in accessible and affordable college education for everyone and I believe Lasell does an exceptional job.