"Broadening your Horizons"

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
"Broadening your Horizons"
234
Fri, 04-04-2003 - 8:41pm
Okay, I've been scanning through the posts below, and this is something that has grabbed my attention. There are those here who seem to believe that you can only broaden your horizons by going to college or joining the peace corps or military. It also seems that doing so as a young person (directly out of high school) is preferable.

So, I'm curious about how people feel these things actually "broadened their horizons", and how that has benefited them in their lives so far. I'm also curious how you feel this has benefited you more so than someone who might have opted out of college/military/peace corps.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

Pages

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 8:48am
Once again ... I cannot log out my hat, grrrrrrrrrr.

I believe broadening one's horizons can be done at any time ... an unbelievable wealth of horizon broadening is right in everyone's own backyard ... "The Library." But then experiencing those horizons first hand? Nothing like it.

My first 19 years of life I was a USAF brat, crossing the Atlantic Ocean no less than 7 times and crossing the US three times, yet I've never seen the Pacific(I will, I have no doubt). I attended no less than 7 schools ... 5 elementary schools alone on two continents. I graduated from an American run high school in Izmir, Turkey. Students were not ony US citizens but a few were from Germany, Italy, UK, Greece, Turkey, as well as from several Middle East countries. I am a leftist liberal(as revealed by a unique test here on ivillage which didn't surprise me much). Of my five younger siblings ... one shares my views(my brother, 13 mos younger), three are more middle liberal, and one is right wing all the way. The right-winger is the youngest, she missed all the "horizon broadenings" of my father's military career. My sister was 7 when Dad retired to a small New England town. I am raising my children to discover for themselves what the world has to hold, right here from our small New England town ... I keep an open dialogue and celebrate their questions, they may not experience first hand like I did, but for sure they are learning about the world. A big pet peeve of mine are those that question why anyone needs to learn about geography and world history ...

Linda

  Linda ...    Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Avatar for taylormomma
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-23-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 9:29am
Oh my, where did that come from? Since when does "broadened outlook" equal "snobbery"? If anything, it's the exact opposite. It's realizing that what you've experienced of life isn't all there is of life. It's learning that people all bring something unique to the table. It's learning that your perspective isn't the only perspective.

How that translates into snobbery is beyond me.

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 10:17am
i went to college as a young person. The reason why i beleive you can get more out of it as a young person out of h.s. is because you are unencumbered by other responsibilities (i.e. family) and can soak up everything it has to offer. For example, I was active in many oncampus activities such as the school newspaper. If I was an older student with a husband and family responsibilities I wouldnt necessarily have had time to do those things and see my family.

I also enjoyed living in the dorm. It was quite an experience rooming with two other girls I had never met before. eventually, a group of us from my dorm starting hanging out. We used to have our dinner together in the cafeteria.
Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 10:29am
In addition as part of my college experience, I was an exchange student in Mexico. I lived with a Mexican family while also traveling and attending a school there.

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 11:06am
Yep, totally agree. Where is that thumbs up sign when you need it?

As I said, (I feel like mygriffen here), I broaded my very narrow-minded outlook by getting divorced, moving back east, and living in a "blue collar" town where the average income was $35K.

Realized I knew a number of nice people who didn't have to attend collage to "broaden" their outlooks -- which in turn broadened mine.

Of course, your mileage may vary.

outside_the_box_mom

Avatar for biancamami
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 1:15pm
You sound so negative about your college experience. Not a judgment call, just an observation. I think all of us adopt a little "snobbery" in college but I think most people experience that as a passing thing...as soon as someone back home reminds you you're not "all that"!

Do you really think if you had stayed in a blue collar environment your whole life you would have viewed it as a broadening experience? I can completely understand how coming back to your roots expands your outlook and makes you see your past from a different perspective...but would that even be possible without experiencing going away in the first place? If you don't see that blue collar experience through the "broadening" lens that another, opposite environment lends you, can you truly discredit that experience as 'well, I went way to college just to become a snob'?

Reminds me of the first time I went back to my country after 10 years in the US. I felt like I finally connected with my land...that I was seeing it for the first time and understanding my culture in a whole new way. Part of me felt a certain disdain for the American ways I had adopted...almost ashamed of who I had become. And then I realized that I was allowed to have this cultural revelation BECAUSE of my American experience. If I had stayed in El Salvador all my life, I would never have had the life altering experience of RETURNING to this land and viewing myself and my people from a different perspective.

I don't live among the same type of people I did in college...not by any means. I also live in a working class neighborhood of people who could care less about degrees. Yes, this is also a broadening experience but in a completely different way from College.

Ana
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 2:05pm
These boards broadened my horizons. It probably would be more accurate to say that it was the internet generally, but either way, it's a fact. Most people don't talk regularly or in personal terms with people who live far away, or who make a lot more or a lot less money, or people with drastically different values. As a stupid example, before the internet I'd never known a military wife, and I've gained huge appreciation for what it means to be one.

The other thing that's broadened my horizons is traveling for work. It's different when you're not being a tourist but just interacting with people on their home turf. Again, I've been to places and met people who I'd never have spent time with any other way.

If the question really means "how do you get an education", there are a million ways to do that.

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 2:14pm
I don't think it has to do with age so much as what you are exposed to. I was 25 before I took my first class and 31 when I recieved my bachelors degree. College was still a mind altering experience at my advanced age.
Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 2:25pm
College was a positive experience.

Perhaps I made it sound negative because of the posts about SES and such on this board.

College was also an unexpected adventure for me. It wasn't in my future at all -- we were dirt poor -- and by luck I got there. If it weren't for college, I most likely would have ended up like my mother.

I went to a state college where something like 57% of the student body were students were the first in their family to attend college. I was one of them.

My best friend in college was another. Her parents were awesome -- and blue collar. I've never met nicer people. I can honestly say they never thought their "horizons" were lacking simply because he drove a container crane and his wife SAH. They traveled, had friends over all the time, etc etc.

And my aunt, whom I worship. She and my uncle aren't educated. But I would never say they need "broadening." Heck, I learn so much from her -- and here I am, an "educated" woman with an advanced degree.

No, my whole point wasn't to denigrate education. I highly value it and am ensuring my son gets a good one.

My point was in reaction to other views posted on this board that somehow one is "lacking" or one's children won't turn out "better" if one is a SAHM (who contributes to the wage gap even!!), or has low SES, or who hasn't gone to college. The POV posited by certain posters has become mighty snobby, IMHO.

outside_the_box_mom

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 04-05-2003 - 2:29pm
Exactly!

I have met so many interesting people on the Internet. Half my clients are out of state and come from states I've never been to such as New Mexico and North Dakota.

Without the Internet, I would have never met you, or Sus, or this woman I'm going to visit in Maine in two weeks (we're introducing our dogs!).

outside_the_box_mom

Pages