Being well-rounded is the new norm

By Ben Everett | Sports Editor

Well-roundedness is a seemingly growing phenomenon. It used to be the norm to stick to one job and field of interest for an entire career. Now our society encourages people to pursue a variety of avenues.

As of 2017, 42 percent of millennials expect to change jobs every one to three years, according to Jobvite. People don’t want to stay in one place anymore.

Professional athletes are a great example of this renaissance man trend. Superstar basketball players like LeBron James and Kevin Durant don’t just play basketball. Both players have a clothing and shoe line and a media/entertainment company that produces a TV show. Additionally, Durant and LeBron each have expressed a desire to own an NBA team one day.

Some NBA players, like the Warriors’ Andre Iguodala, are getting involved in venture capital projects in Silicon Valley. Sacramento Kings rookie Marvin Bagley III moonlights as a rapper.

I’ve always had a wide array of interests. My major and career goals reflect that. I’m majoring in finance and accounting and minoring in news-editorial, but I want to work in basketball operations.

From a young age, my parents encouraged me to try different activities and cultivate a variety of interests. It’s never something that I consciously made a point to stick to, but looking back, I realize now how being a well-rounded person has shaped who I am.

According to Ken Bain’s “What the Best College Students Do,” there are pros and cons to being heavily involved in many areas of life. Bain writes that a range of experiences can help students become more prepared for an array of challenges in the future. Moreover, being involved shows potential employers that a student has time management and other professional skills.

College students can easily diversify their time and skill sets through the resources available at universities. I’ve been able to learn a wide array of material thanks to my major. Business Fellows has allowed me to take more electives, and there are other majors and programs that provide similar opportunities. Although my main studies have centered around business, I’ve taken classes like Great Texts, statistics, philanthropy and sportswriting that have broadened my horizon.

Aside from classes, there are many ways to get plugged in to other activities. One of the ways I did so was by applying to work for The Lariat. While I don’t want to have a career in journalism, my job has allowed me to stay close to the sports world and given me experience working a real job while refining my writing skills.

For others, this might look like rushing a fraternity or sorority, participating in a club or volunteering for a service organization. The more you get involved, the more you learn different perspectives and the more well-rounded you become.

Bain writes that a major con of participating in a lot of different things is being spread too thin. This is easily avoidable if you know your limits.

People like Lavar Ball would tell you to stay in your lane. But I say don’t stay in your lane. Learn something new. Try something different. You’ll be better for it.

Ben is a Baylor Business Fellows and accounting double major from Monroe, La.