Date of this Version
Journal of the National Collegiate Honors Council, 2022, 23(1): 145–47
As part of the National Collegiate Honors Council’s (2022) collection of essays about the value of honors to its graduates (1967–2019), the author reflects on the personal and professional impacts of the honors experience.
When many students think about participating in an honors program, their minds immediately rush to harder courses and more work. Frankly, many brilliant classmates did not pursue the honors program because they did not see the benefit. They failed to recognize the implicit value of pursuing a program that is simultaneously challenging and nurturing. Although I did not notice it each day, the honors program had a major impact on my college and professional journey. My experience in the honors program highlighted the importance of flexibility. In my college’s honors program, students could make standard courses into honors courses by developing an honors contract. Rather than being confined to the traditionally offered honors courses, this option allowed me the flexibility to delve deeper into subjects of interest. For the honors contract for my Hunger: Problems of Scarcity and Choice course, I volunteered at Foodshare, a local non-profit focused on eliminating food insecurity, and presented my reflections. This non-traditional classroom experience instilled the need for volunteerism, something I have integrated into my post-grad life. Without the flexibility of these contracts, I never would have had this opportunity.