"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

Avatar for laurenmom2boys
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-25-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 8:53am
College did not broaden my horizons. It was painful, every step of the way. I never enjoyed school. I always viewed it as a necessary evil. I guess that's why it took my 17 years of going to college off and on to finally graduate with a BS in Psychology. A BS in Psychology doesn't get you much in the job market. If I had gone on to get my Masters and Doctorate, I would have been able to get a job in the psychology field, but since it took me so long to get my BS and since I really don't enjoy school, what was the point?

I've found life experiences have provided a lot more understanding of the world around me than college ever did.

Avatar for outside_the_box_mom
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:21am
The "facts" as you put them are based on statistical averages. Studies have shown "XYZ." For every study that shows one thing, you can find an opposing study that shows another.

No, Cindy. There are no guarantees. It doesn't matter if my son has the best of everything or has nothing, the FACT of the matter is I have no guarantee how he will turn out. The only thing I can do is be the best parent I can -- and even that is no guarantee.

outside_the_box_mom

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 11:06am
Maybe you should look at yourself too. You also seem to have that "copping a superior attitude" down. Which, I believe, is why people question your posts so much.

Fulfillment is basically the same as satisfying. And to say you cannot be fulfilled in life without doing EVERYTHING there is on Earth before you die is silly. If that were true, YOU could not be fulfilled in your life b/c you haven't SAH with your kids.

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

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 1:55pm
I have to disagree on the travel thing. I think it is VERY necessary in order to obtain a true understanding about other cultures and the world. Yes, you can read about it and learn about it on a certain level, but until you actually experience it, your knowledge is going to be limited.

For the Cyndis out there who like statistics, there are some out there that show that children exposed to travel and other cultures fare better overall than children who are not. That alone indicates a benefit of travel.

My dh and I have travel very high on our priority list in regards to the education of our children as well as ourselves. It opens your eyes in a way that a book cannot. Having to submit to another culture, having to manage in a place where hardly anyone speaks English, manuevering around different parts of different countries, those are invaluable and CANNOT be replicated in any other way.

And looking at Michaelangelo's *David* in a book vs. actually seeing it in real life are totally incomparable. If you really want to understand the world and other cultures, travel IS a must.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 2:49pm
I never said travel was a bad thing for a child, or for anyone. In fact, I myself have been to Europe, spent time in Canada, and because my stepchildren live a few states away, we travel the interstate a lot and spend a lot of time out of state. I have been all over the Southeast U.S., Atlantic City, and also spent some time in SoCal. (I am in Michigan.) As a family, we are very fond of taking trips to the Great Lakes shores in the summertime, and this summer, we would love to take the older children to D.C. to see the mall (though, we are wondering how much of DC is restricted through the alerts, etc.) I never said I totally discredit the reality of experience via travel.

I totally agree that books and reality are not the same thing... your Michealangelo is my Koln Cathedral.. until you really experience it firsthand, I will admit that no picture or words will do it justice. I agree with you there. I would never even begin to imply that seeing the ocean firsthand is the same as it is in a book.

However, I feel that travel is not the only way to broaden yourself. My own travel experience has been great and highly enjoyable. I just don't think it is fair to say that people who have not traveled at all have never *lived* or have a totally limited view of life and the world. I personally have never been to Iraq, and no, I cannot say I *totally* understand what life is like there right now, I can get a pretty good idea through several media sources. I do agree that it is not a *true* understanding, but a little bit of understanding may just be slightly better off than none at all, don't you think? Though I have seen the Austrian Alps, I never did snowboard down one of them, andso even though I can say I can respect and treasure the experience of seeing it firsthand, I cannot tell you how it feels to wake up every morning and see them out the window (though, LOL, I can tell you I would love to wake up to a beer and that view every morning of my life and I would be a happy gal.) Sure, I can take a trip to a fancy restaurant and have an expensive meal, but that only gives me a small picture of what it is like to be wealthy. And though I can say I have driven through some of the bad parts of Chicago on the freeway, I would never be able to say I can give you a complete idea of what it is really like to live there. Life in and of itself is limited by time, I can no more say I understand Europeans more than people who have never been there. Travel in the fashion that most people experience it is just a small glimpse really of life other than your own. JMHO.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 3:03pm
No, I know you didnt say it was a bad thing. But you did say that it was not necessary to travel to gain an understanding of the world. I dont think a person *needs* travel or schooling if that isnt what they WANT. But I dont think a person who has never been outside of their own state (or outside of their own country) is going to have the same understanding of the world as a person who has.

I think that a person can be perfectly happy without travel. Its a hard thing for me personally to comprehend-I remember clearly as a small child watching planes fly overhead and wanting to be ON those planes! Its just always been a part of who I am, this desire to know and see other cultures. I dont think that there is anything wrong with people who dont want to travel-but I will say that I dont think they can have the same perception of other cultures and places that a well-traveled person has.

dj

Dj

"Now when I need help, I look in the mirror" ~Kanye West~

Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 6:23pm
Nope, not copping an attitude as I don't believe my lifestyle is superior to anyone elses. The question was posed as to whether education broadens ones horizons and I answered in the affirmative because having gotten one, I see the benefit. I see enough benefit in an education to insist that my children get one too. Copping an attitude would be me telling you I'm better than you are because of whatever like the MSAHM's do all the time.
Avatar for cyndiluwho
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 6:30pm
Show me one post where I said there were guarantees????? You won't find one. I've never said there were. All you can do is stack the odds in your favor. Yes, the studies talk about statistical averages, what else can they talk about?? However, IF you understand the studies and understand what defines average you can use them to determine how they apply to your life.

For me, I don't have to go much further than the value of increased SES. My working makes a big difference in my family's income. That translates into positives to my kids. Yes, on average, WM's have higher SES and the researchers think enough of that to make corrections for SES. However, in my case, my income contributes far more than the average difference between DWP households and households with a SAHP. So, in my case, the effect is greater. If you understand what the averages are and understand why they don't apply to you, then they don't apply to you. However, it would be stupidity to toss the studies out simply because they are based on averages. All studies are based on averages. It is with the averages that we make decisions for the masses.

I understand the studies and I understand where I fit with regard to average. While the income impact my working has on my family is way above average, were quite average when it comes to use of dc and time spent with our kids. For me, the time studies apply well. The income studies don't but since the positives are more pronounced for us, I don't need to figure out how they apply. I know the effect is positive and it's more positive than average.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 7:09pm
i havent had a chance to read most of the previous posts, but was interested in what my sister had to say. i am glad to hear it. i too, never enjoyed school, as i was forced to "stay within the lines", when i had an outside the box personality. i probably would have done well in montessori or the like, but in the age i grew up, it was the expected to go to public school.

thank you for being frank about this. i truly believe lifes experiences teach us gobs more than college.

Avatar for tickmich
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Sun, 04-06-2003 - 10:22pm
I went to college. I am glad that I did although things didnt work out exactly as planned. Could I have had an ok life if I hadnt gone to college? Probably. Could I have had an ok life I hadnt met my DH and married? Probably, but am grateful I do have him. Could I have had an ok life without my DS? Probably, but I am so thankful for him. My life has been enriched by my experiences of growing up, going to college, traveling, working and most of all having a family.

You dont know what you are missing if youve never experienced it. You dont regret not going to college but that doesnt mean that a college experience isnt a valuable life experience for many people.

Pages