While I was home for this past Thanksgiving break, I found a journal I had kept from my freshman and sophomore years of college. In black ink, I had written:
13 days left of school. Just under two weeks.
The entry before that was about leaving school. The ones to follow began a count down until I was away from college.
Reading these now as a senior, it amazes me that I persisted this far when I think back to the initial experiences I had with higher education. At my first school, nothing felt genuine. The professors didn’t care about the quality of their learning materials, the instruction was poor, and the institution lacked a sincerity for their students.
When I transferred, the community improved and my feelings began to change. As a traditional marketing student, I was appreciative of the quality education I was learning, but still wasn’t satisfied. I began to feel the same disappointment I had initially felt about higher education coil itself back up on my shoulders.
Now, as a Marketing and Creative Services student through an Interdisciplinary Studies program, I’m grateful for my original disappointment with higher education. I transformed my moments of discontent into moments of clarity, realizing that in my disappointment I understood what matters most. I found that I deeply cared about my education and valued the learning opportunities that came my way. I used my passions as a compass to guide me in creating a program that held a natural distinction among my peers into something personal.
During the 2017 Symposium for the Marketing of Higher Education, the American Marketing Association was using the hashtag #AMAHigherEd to tweet highlights from the event. In a thread of tweets that began with a quote from Jaime Casap, one read,
This amazes me, that we don’t market these immensely powerful learning opportunities to students who want to have the liberty to design their own education. The landscape of secondary education is beginning to change and it’s from students like those in Interdisciplinary Studies programs who demand more from their schooling than just four years and a degree. Marketing and communication teams at colleges and universities have an obligation to advertise these programs to students instead of solely promoting single discipline programs.
Interdisciplinary Studies has provided me with so much more than an education, but to a network of individuals who have felt and continue to feel the same way I do about so many elements of the higher education experience. I feel fortunate to have a fantastic group of learners and mentors who I can turn to when education becomes tough and needs a discussion on how to fight through its inadequacies.