On the Brink: students prepare for life after college

Matt Peters

Emily Peters, Mark Bao, and Aaron Smith pictured from left to right. Photo by Matt Peters.

In a few weeks, roughly 2 million American college students will graduate with bachelor’s degrees. Of these students, only about four percent have earned their degrees from liberal arts institutions.

While liberal arts graduates are a relatively small group, research indicates that (on average) they experience greater career success and greater job satisfaction than graduates of public universities. Of course, small size and expensive tuition costs often deter students from attending liberal arts schools, but proponents contend that the benefits outweigh the costs.

“Growing up, I actually did want to be a sportscaster. Watching ESPN, I wanted to be just like those guys… And then for some reason, in high school, I thought that I needed to be a doctor and came to college wanting to be a doctor. After one year, I realized that I was in the wrong major. So I switched back to the original idea, which was broadcasting, and so far I haven’t turned around,” said Trey Farley. Photo by Matt Peters.

With small class sizes, accessible faculty, and a broad-based learning environment that emphasizes critical thinking, a liberal arts education fosters a variety of valuable professional skills. Still, as students prepare to enter the job market, they will inevitably face challenges.

“What inspires me is kind of teaching someone a lesson that they didn’t know… putting a smile on people’s faces while doing it,” said Erika Massey. Photo by Matt Peters.

As part of a larger research project, I’ve interviewed nine passionate students at Marietta College, documenting their perspectives as they navigate the academic landscape and prepare to enter the workforce. Research indicates that students who focus on developing their strengths, rather than correcting their deficiencies, will ultimately fare well over the long run.

“Pushing through the challenges that you find at practice really makes your everyday challenges not seem as impossible to overcome,” said Angelo Leitner-Wise. Photo by Matt Peters.

Check out the full video interviews here: http://xanmapcreative.wixsite.com/home/copy-of-project-page-1-1


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