by Jacquelyn Smith
Undergraduate years should be a time for students to reflect deeply on questions such as these. In the process, they will gain a more grounded sense of their own identity than they had before college. Whether students are transitioning from adolescence to adulthood or are adults planning a shift in their lives, college is an ideal time for thoughtful reflection on these and related issues.
But this kind of reflection happens too rarely in college. All too often, undergraduates have an instrumentalist view of college, viewing it solely as a way to prepare for a career, and perhaps have some fun along the way. They wear their academic honors and achievements like a soldier’s decorations, rarely looking deeply at their inner selves. Self-reflection is not on their radar screens.