When what you learn plays out in real life

The other day some classmates and I were sitting in the main area of our department. CNN was playing on the TV and the story of the broken down and putrid Carnival cruise ship was being commented on. As we listened to the coverage and remarks from the commentators and from others, we ourselves began commenting on the PR nightmare that Carnival had on its plate.

It’s an odd moment when what you’ve learned theoretically in the confines of a classroom allows you to assess real world situations. It’s very easy to forget that college is still the real world. Though in this case your paying for the “job.” It’s also easy to think that there is a disconnect between what you learned in a public relations class and actually doing public relations.

I found this mostly to be the case in any English classes I took in college. There was no “real world” hands on practice in those classes. It’s a bubble of academic literature that, for me, had no application to real life. But as a Journalism/ Public Relations major, I see practical uses for everything I’ve learned. The classes usually include practical instruction. So if I was taking a news writing class, then I wrote news stories.

Because of the hands on approach of many of my classes, I’ve been able to see situations in the real world and apply the information I’ve learned. I feel better prepared now for the various career situations I’ll be put in, because I was given the tools to use to know what I’m doing… at least a little bit.

As for Carnival, hopefully they can handle this smelly situation well.

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3 thoughts on “When what you learn plays out in real life

  1. This blog post is a great reminder that college actually serves a purpose other than giving us that sheet of paper that is our degree. I sometimes get so caught up in simply getting through my school work that I forget it is enriching my life and will become very valuable to me down the road. I often us the statement, “Once I get into the real world….” This post reminds me that I am in the real world and that I am accumulating “work” experience that will be extremely beneficial to me later on. Great blog! I appreciate the reminder!

  2. I like the fact that you point out that in many cases it is “bubble” that we learn in. We are often times not given an opportunity to apply what we are learning. With this class, we are given an opportunity to apply what we have learned as journalist and apply it to our blog. Even if we are not journalism majors, we have the opportunity to use our skills in the “real world” which is more than can be said for those who don’t get this opportunity. Nice observation/post.

  3. Lots of good thoughts here, but also remember that there will be lasting value from your more abstract, academic classes as well. I doubled majored in journalism and anthropology as an undergrad, and while I’ve never been an anthropologist by trade, a lot of what we studied then helps me in whatever else I’ve done professionally. It will be interesting to see how you feel about your English classes 10 years from now.

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