Becoming “cultured” is an important part of the college experience

Published by adviser, Author: Nicole Crevar - Rocket Contributor, Date: November 16, 2012

What does it mean to be cultured?  Does it involve traveling to a foreign country or speaking multiple languages?     Well, yes and no.  From the standpoint of Intercultural Communication, accepting other cultures is a must in today’s society, especially with the growing rate of globalization and technology.  Culture is everywhere, and our identities are dependent upon it.  For instance, many SRU students identify as Americans, Pittsburghers, or Sorority/Fraternity Members.  All of these labels contribute to one’s culture. Those students from different areas of the country may have felt culture shock, or confusion when they ordered a salad and received French-fries on top of it.  But those of us from Pittsburgh are accustomed to loading sandwiches and salads with greasy fries, because it’s part of our culture.  So what about the other cultures?
Learning more about the world outside of own little bubbles is extremely important, as well.  And one doesn’t need to travel abroad or pick up a second language to do it.  There are a wide variety of events held on campus that provide cultural expansion.  Actually, last Monday was Native American Day in the BOB (Robert Smith Student Center).  This ceremony consisted of Native dances, tables lined with cultural artifacts, and a presentation by Native American author Joseph Bruchac.  In addition, the Student Organization of Latinos/Hispanics and Allies (SOL) hosts Salsa lessons every other Thursday.  But learning more about other cultures does not merely apply to ethnicities.  Culture can vary from region to region, and from age to physical abilities.  There’s a specific culture in the workplace that makes it function, and that same context is probably not applicable at home.
Every group that one belongs to has its own culture.  But to be considered a cultured person, we must get outside of our comfort zones.  Explore new groups, attend cultural events on campus, and be curious!  It’s okay to walk on the other side of your interests.  And when you learn more about other cultures, you end up learning more about yourself.  It’s called self-awareness.  So take my advice, and embrace all of the diversity that this university has to offer.  You never know what new doors you will open.


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