Embracing the liberal arts education
A true liberal arts education involves pushing yourself outside of your comfort level and exploring a wide variety of subjects. In the spirit of our support for Colby’s liberal arts approach to higher education, we at the Echo laud the College’s new policy that no longer allows students to declare their major during their first year at Colby, but rather requires students to wait until their sophomore year to choose their primary field of study.
One of the best aspects of Colby is the wide variety of interests that different students on campus have. This phenomenon stems from the fact that the types of people who come to Colby are intellectually curious and generally excel at many things before coming to the Hill. As a result, many first years are eager to try to take on more than one major.
To get into a top-tier college like Colby, applicants generally have to carry strong grades in all their subjects and be involved in a number of extra curricular activities. We believe that college is about acquiring a strong academic foundation, learning to focus your energies and then developing yourself more specifically in one or two areas. The new policy encourages students to wait to find what it is they really enjoy and are good at before they commit to majoring in the subject.
Furthermore, this policy will allow for students to take advantage of a wider variety of departments at Colby, and not limit themselves by trying to double major.
Intellectual curiosity should be encouraged, and we urge students to remain curious and to take classes in a variety of disciplines. The liberal arts are all about keeping an open mind and expanding your knowledge base. Your first year at college is an experience unlike any other you will ever have, full of all sorts of academic and personal opportunities. By prematurely thinking too much about their major, first years may very well limit how many opportunities they may access, which is truly a shame at a place like Colby.
It is far from unusual to be overwhelmed in the first year of college. Part of this new experience is an adjustment to a different lifestyle. This new policy is Colby’s way of saying to students not to put unnecessary pressure on themselves. There is no need to apply academic labels so soon.
This new policy encourages the exploration of new areas before preemptively setting yourself on a certain path of study. Therefore it is to Colby’s credit that we have reaffirmed our commitment to a liberal arts education and intellectual curiosity.
-The staff of The Colby Echo