Award-winning poet Maya Angelou once said, “…in diversity, there is beauty and there is strength.” When you immerse yourself in a diverse environment, especially starting in college and young adulthood, there is much to gain. As you navigate through school, a career, and possibly life outside of your hometown, you’ll be exposed to different perspectives, ideas, cultures, ethnicities, religions, and more. The benefits of growing and learning in a diverse environment will serve you throughout your entire life.
It may not be something that has crossed your mind, but many colleges are known for their dedication to building a richly diverse student population—a place where different cultures, experiences, and perspectives are at the forefront of learning. Here’s why choosing a school like this will have long-lasting benefits:
- You’ll boost creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills when faced with new ideas.
- You’ll build deep friendships and connections with people from all walks of life—which can strengthen your empathy, tolerance, and inclusivity as well as expand your ways of thinking.
- You’ll gain a stronger understanding and appreciation of the world and the people around you.
- You’ll be more prepared for international job opportunities or careers that involve interaction with individuals around the globe.
The most important thing to note about the benefits listed above is that self-reflection and willingness to learn from others are key. By attending a diverse college, you’re opening your mind to different worldviews that you may not have experienced otherwise. And, the incredible thing is, others will learn from you as well.
Learning to appreciate diversity and different cultures isn’t just about personal growth—it can also lead to an exciting career working internationally or with others around the globe. Today’s job market is increasingly diverse, and many companies operate globally, which makes the ability to collaborate with people who are different from you an asset for a job seeker.
College is a unique time in your life, and for many, it’s the first time they are exposed to a truly diverse population—whether race, class, gender identity, religion, cultural heritage, sexual orientation, or language. You’ll likely find that attending a diverse college will enrich your learning experience and give you the opportunity to build lifelong friendships with people from all different backgrounds and experiences. If you want to further expose yourself to different cultures and languages, consider exploring a study abroad program, in which you can live and study in the country of your choice. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity is well worth it!
For more resources and information on preparing for college, visit the K12 College Prep Center.