Finding Meaning and Purpose in College Education

Pauline Vigil
The Paw Print

Why am I here? What is the meaning of college? What is my life’s purpose?
These big questions are what many people have been asking for centuries. However, recently it is being acknowledged that college students are asking these big life questions and seeking the answers while in college. Everyone has a story about why they are at this point in their lives and how they got here. Stories are an integral part of human history. What story do you tell yourself about your current college experience? Is it a dismal story of typical college life, complaining about going to class every day, and you can’t wait until it’s over? Or is it an ever evolving story of enjoyment, fulfillment, and meaning?
Robert J. Nash, wrote a book titled Helping College Students Find Purpose: The Campus Guide to Meaning-Making. In it he talks about students wanting to find a sense of purpose while in college and needing to create meaning for themselves about why they are doing what they are doing.
Most college students have their own reasons for choosing to go to college. Local college students give answers such as, “I’m going to college for my kids, so they can have a better life,” and “I want to have a good job and make good money,” or “I want to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.”
Perhaps you’ve heard some of these responses from your college friends. According to a research project conducted by the Higher Education Research institute, students “are searching for deeper meaning in their lives, looking for ways to cultivate their inner selves, seeking to be compassionate and charitable, and determining what they think and feel about the many issues confronting their society and the global community.”Remember that it is your money, your time, and your college experience so take ownership of it.
You can change the story at any time. You need to take the helm of the ship. If you just keep sailing with the wind, you have no idea where you’ll end up, but if you carefully plot your course you can keep track of your college journey. You can be much happier, not only when you reach your destination, but during the journey as well.
I will in no way attempt to tell you how to find meaning for your college life, because it is my experience that each person takes a different path to meaning. However, I will encourage you to seek meaning and purpose out for yourself.
The sooner you do the better off you will be. Ask for help, ask questions, find out what is important to you, find out what makes you happy, and what is of value to you. It is much more difficult to find yourself a senior and discovering you are in the wrong major and suddenly need to change it. is powered by WordPress µ | Spam prevention powered by Akismet