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University education provides not only the necessary skills for future work but also helps students to develop their personality. There are discussions on whether society engagement works better than solitude for this purpose. Although public opinion can have an adverse effect on self-fashioning through offering conventional beliefs on behavior that might not match with particular individual values, students should use social interactions along with development through solitude to build their inner self.
One of the primary sources for development can be found in education. Every student must have a critical approach towards everything he or she receives from an institution. It is not only the theoretical and practical knowledge of a subject that is the primary reason for learning. It is also a source of determining why some particular information is important for development and how it would be useful in the future. Besides, students have the best opportunities for self-fashioning for several reasons. Firstly, they are no longer under control of their parents who often dictate the norms of behavior and appearance. Secondly, they are not distracted by any processes other than studying. Another opportunity like this would be available only after retirement, which is also questionable.
Society and Solitude
The main issue in identifying the right ways for development is whether to do it solely or inside a community. The article has them both described as the required prerequisites of the harmonic self-fashioning. One way supports another and works towards the development of all necessary social skills.
It is claimed that the community is a catalysator for inspiring people to change. They acquire new skills, look for social and career opportunities to make an impression on other representatives of their kind. Thus, it is important to learn how to act in a community. Role models should possess features that could be applied for self-fashioning. Solitude is an opposite path, yet it may provide even more opportunities for self-development than engaging with a community. It is a necessary condition for analyzing the essential needs that a person has regarding his or her future life.
Battle of Opinions
While the article has good points on education and solitude, the processes in a community are not deeply discussed. It is a common fact that teenagers and young people are greatly influenced by public opinion. Moreover, Millennials tend to relate themselves to lifestyles and ideas that they see on social media. This factor is often used by companies to market their products to the young audience. It is quite hard at this age to distinguish between the real picture and the promoted image that is always positive. Young people require guidance in everything concerning their development as a social person. This guidance may be exercised by a university tutor who has experience in supporting generations of students.
While social interaction and individual development are both good for self-fashioning, the former may become a source of conventional thinking that could become stressful for a developing personality. It is not possible to develop a harmonic inner self if the public opinion is interfering in the process. Young people must develop their unique personalities instead of cultivating masks that are preferred by a particular community. University time provides many advantages for students who can use education as a tool for self-fashioning.