Open Heart and Mind: Benefits of Communication and Diversity

The United States is one of the most culturally diverse countries in the world. Thanks to the First Amendment, we have freedom of religion and expression. There is also increasing support for the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities.

Being part of a diverse community provides people with an understanding of differences and places value in those differences. Many colleges and universities, including Linfield, take pride in being a setting that promotes open communication and diversity. The benefits of communication and diversity cannot be understated.

New Experiences

As part of a diverse community, you are much more likely to have the opportunity to learn about different cultures. Fresh and differing viewpoints from a diverse group of people increases self-awareness and the ability to understand and embrace different perspectives. Living, learning and working in a diverse environment provides a chance to expand your own sense of global perspective, sociological imagination and social justice.

A Breakdown of Stereotypes

Communication with and learning from those around you happens organically in a diverse environment and offers the opportunity for communication that leads to a departure from a sheltered background, incorrect assumptions and stereotypes and ignorance. Engaging with people whose views and backgrounds are sharply in opposition to your own allows you to become informed, insightful and more open minded. Stereotypes can easily lead to racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia and general bigotry.

Beyond Race Relations

Oftentimes, people only think of race when the term ‘diversity’ arises. But diversity goes far beyond race and ethnicity. The ability to engage with peers with different religious backgrounds, gender identity, sexual orientation and political leanings prepares you for life in a global and diverse society and workplace. Whether you came from a homogeneous background or you were raised in a diverse setting, the ability to communicate with others can always be learned or improved upon.

Living, learning and working in a diverse environment should be an experience to seek, not one to shy away from. The ability to communicate with an open heart and an open mind will make you not only a good citizen in a diverse world, but will increase your ability for empathy, social development, your awareness of injustices, and the desire to make the world a better place for everyone.

Benefits of Online Classes for Busy Professionals

As a busy professional you might think that continuing education is unlikely to fit into your already harried schedule. Combine that with trying to maintain a work-life balance and you would be accurate to think that enrolling in classes would be too time consuming. Colleges and universities are acutely aware of the time crunch busy professionals find themselves in, which is why Linfield and others have added fully accredited online class and degree offerings. These allow you to complete an undergraduate or graduate degree or earn a professional certificate on your schedule. Consider these and many other benefits of online education when deciding your next education goal.

Credit for Prior Learning

If you’re working in the professional world, you bring quite a bit of knowledge and experience with you. Not only will you earn credit for college classes you have completed but you may be able to earn college credit for work and life experience, reducing the number of courses needed for a degree and thus lowering the cost. Linfield offers up to 30 credits for prior life experience.

Flexibility

Flexibility is the main reason that busy professionals choose to pursue online education. You can study during work breaks, at night, and on the weekend, and there is no commute to worry about or class schedule to keep. You will be able to continue working while planning your study time around the rest of your work and family responsibilities, while still receiving the academic support from professors and other college staff that you would get as a traditional student on campus.

Career Advancement
Most busy professionals who choose to continue their education do so with the goal of career advancement, which is exactly what the programs at Linfield are focused on.

Whether you are pursuing your undergraduate degree or looking for an advanced degree in order to expand your knowledge and your resume, you can be sure that obtaining a degree will help further your career goals.

In addition, professional certificates are a great way to earn credentials and impress superiors without having to enroll in an entire degree program.

If you are looking to continue your education and advance your career but can’t commit to attending classes because of your work demands, consider online education. The many benefits of a fully accredited online education program will help you reach your goals while maintaining your professional schedule and fitting nicely into your life.

Inspiration Methods For Creative Writing

For those of us with a creative bent, writing can be both a source of joy and frustration. The times when words flow from us like water from a faucet are magical. Filling a blank page with your ideas is a fulfilling experience that can’t quite be matched by anything else. Other times, when the words seem stuck in mud and nothing sounds right, it can be difficult to sit in front of your computer and struggle with your thoughts. If you need a little boost, here are some ways to help jumpstart your muse.

Take A Stroll

Getting up and moving around can help clear old thoughts from your mind, making room for new ones. A brisk walk in nature provides you with fresh air and can give you a new perspective on the ideas that you’re struggling with. Try to observe little sensory details around you, like sounds, colors and scents. The smallest things can help spark your brain and give you new insights into your writing.

Talk To People

Bouncing ideas off of your friends and fellow students is a great way to gain a different perspective on your writings. A formal writing group can give you direct feedback from colleagues, but just chatting with classmates can help you form new ideas as well. Striking up a conversation with a stranger while waiting in line at the coffee shop can offer up a brand-new viewpoint on old ways of thinking or serve as inspiration for a creative piece.

Expand Your Comfort Zone

A broad range of experiences provides you with a varied background to draw from while writing. Many writers enjoy other forms of creative expression, like theater and art. Taking time to appreciate other artists can help free your mind and provide you with fresh inspiration. Community service can also give you a new way of looking at things. Helping people in your local community can provide exposure to different groups and cultures while simultaneously making a positive impact on your neighborhood. Clubs and organizations can also offer another way to expand your horizons. Try something new that forces you to rethink old assumptions.

Longhand Writing

Most of us probably use a computer or other electronic device to do most of our writing, but putting pen to paper can have a soothing effect that calms your mind. Many people enjoy freeform writing, where you just jot down whatever thoughts pop into your head. The simple act of writing by hand can sometimes provide a flow of words and ideas that break through your writer’s block.

If you love the idea of learning and collaborating with a group of creative, like-minded individuals that can help elevate your writing, read more about Linfield College’s online Creative Writing certificate. Our program exposes you to every stage of the writing process, from information gathering all the way to revision, editing and completion. If you’re looking for a way to add writing skills to your portfolio, our online Creative Writing program can help set you apart from other job candidates.