Thousands of years ago, a man named Socrates reminded us to “know thyself.” This statement has reverberated through history, finding its way even into contemporary pop culture films like The Matrix. As the world becomes smaller and busier, the advice of Socrates is becoming harder and harder to follow. Students all over the world are encouraged to pursue education in practical fields in which they will find success, money, and power, but never themselves, and rarely do they consider majoring or minoring in philosophy.
Everywhere people go they are told who they should be. They must dress a certain way, keep up with the latest trends and purchase all the right products. Everyone from politicians to supermodels is dictating to the world how they think each person should live his or her life. It is difficult to find individuals who are helping students focus on who they truly are, which is one reason why some students decide that majoring or minoring in philosophy is the route they want to take. It is easy to become distracted from serious self-reflection today, and as soon as a student is done with school, he or she is out in the world, working.
For those looking to find themselves, one option they may want to consider is majoring or minoring in philosophy. Although there might seem to be no practical job application to a philosophy degree, the benefit is coming to know oneself, how one thinks, and that which makes one happy. Students of philosophy often find they have an easier time getting into graduate schools if they score high on the GRE. Students who study philosophy in the US also often find they excel in their chosen career fields because of the rigorous training in critical thinking of philosophy classes. Most importantly, those students have the rare opportunity to take the time to focus on one of the most fundamental questions human beings have ever reflected on: “Who am I?”