College students take direct orders and listen to two groups of people: parents and professors. These groups have different types of authority over students. Students have no choice but to listen to both of these groups of people.

Until we started college, our parents were some of the only adults who told us what to do and how to do it. Now, we have another whole group of adults who not only tell us what to do, but grade us on it, too.

These two groups have the ability to make or break students.

Encouraging creativity in both children and students from a young age, and throughout life, should be the goal of all parents and anyone who teaches. Growing up with parents and teachers who encourage imagination and outside-the-box thinking will make for creative, innovative adults.

Parents have the responsibility of teaching their kids how to imagine, create and build for the first 18 years of life. They show you Disney movies about magical lands and buy you building blocks to create tiny castles with. Then, they pass the baton off to university professors as if they are saying, “OK, it’s all you now.”

The professors we have in college have the chance to impact our young lives in many ways. The ones who can teach required material and keep things fun are the ones you’ll remember forever.

However, it’s not always easy bringing creativity into a lecture hall or even to a small classroom. Most professors use the straightforward methods of using gray PowerPoint slides or standing in front of the class and spewing out information for students to desperately copy down.

“Critical thinking has long been regarded as the essential skill for success, but it’s not enough,” Chairman of the International Center of Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College Gerard Puccio said in an article in the New York Times.

These traditional ways of teaching are still important because students still need to understand learning material properly. Being talked at for an hour isn’t the most efficient way to teach young people who would rather be doing anything else.

“The reality is that to survive in a fast-changing world you need to be creative,” Puccio said.

Being a journalism major, my professors encourage my classes to learn more than just how to write. They encourage students to learn all different kinds of computer programs because of the rapidly advancing technology. Learning these programs probably wasn’t as important 20 years ago, but having computer skills in 2016 is vital to most jobs.

Creative studies classes are now being introduced into many colleges. Buffalo State offers a master’s degree and undergraduate minor in creative studies now, according to the New York Times article.

Creativity is necessary in the job market today no matter what your major is. If students want to stand out when applying for jobs, showing creativity, unique skills and charisma will put you ahead of others.

Email Laura Schmidt at opinions@cardinalpointsonline.com

<a href="https://cardinalpointsonline.com/byline/laura-schmidt/" rel="tag">Laura Schmidt</a>