An Experience That Lasts a Lifetime

We already discussed how going back to school can lead to great benefits with respect to increased pay and career advancement. And there is no doubt that those are important reasons to consider going back to school to earn your bachelor’s degree. Yet, it’s important to consider the other non-monetary benefits that going back to school can afford.

For one, the opportunity to befriend other curious students, receive mentoring from professors, and widen your understanding of the world and yourself can be both invaluable and wonderful. Going back to school isn’t merely a “hoop” to jump through, but rather an opportunity to focus on your intellectual growth in a way you can’t always do. There is nothing like being in an academic environment, collaborating with like-minded students and professors, and growing intellectually and professionally.

When Cater explains the intangible benefits of earning your college degree to others, he highlights that the skills acquired extend beyond just a single career. What he means is that by learning to analyze a sonnet or solve for “x” you’re not merely completing a required assignment, but sharpening your ability to think critically and creatively. And this sharpened ability can be applied to more than your professional life. It can influence how you form relationships, raise your children, enjoy leisurely activities, and participate in your community.

Going back to school isn’t merely a “hoop” to jump through, but rather an opportunity to focus on your intellectual growth in a way you can’t always do.  

“Wisdom is more practical than knowledge, and so when you take a class in math or poetics, essentially what you are doing is learning different types of literacy that will help you become a more judicious person. You are learning how to better read people, events, and contexts with greater meaning and, frankly, greater pleasure as well. Life just becomes richer,” Cater shared. “We don’t simply upload information into our students’ brains; we prioritize relationships and foster conversations both inside and outside the classroom, which helps students make sense of their life.”

An not only that, but earning a college degree can make you a healthier and more engaged citizen.

“By and large people who have college degrees tend to have higher levels of happiness, tend to exercise more, and participate more fully with respect to civic engagement,” Cater said. “A college degree simply gives you an opportunity to reach your highest and fullest potential.”

The possibility embedded within a college degree is what fuels what Cater does at PLNU. For him, and PLNU overall, a college degree doesn’t just offer the chance to make more money and achieve greater professional success, as important as those are. It also prepares students to reach their potential and live out their God-given vocation in all areas of their life. If a college degree can help you fully become who you are called to be, then why not consider going back to school?


Questions to Consider:

  • Does the idea of being a student, forming new relationships, and learning about the world excite you? Why?
  • Aside from your professional life, how might learning more about the world and yourself make life richer? How might this affect your relationships and community involvement?
  • Do you view earning your bachelor’s degree as a “hoop” to jump through? If do, how might the experience of going back to school be enjoyable in and of itself?
  • Can you see how earning your bachelor’s degree may fit in with your larger vocation or greater vision for your life? How might going back to school add a greater sense of meaning to all areas of your life?