Buccaneer Scholar


Check out this book! This successful computer programmer never received a high school diploma, but he gets an education daily. It’s a quick read and it will teach you a lot about what types of learning we value and which are actually effective.

“The beginning [of a journey] is a terrible time to plan. It’s the moment of greatest ignorance. In self-directed education, a lot of the value comes from exploiting opportunities that arise well out to sea, once I’ve seen some things and begun the learning process.”

Answering the ‘So What?’ Questions

Name: Rita Bouwens

College: Beloit College

Major: Anthropology

Class: 2016

Home State: Michigan


 What were your main reasons for going to college? 

To continue my education and to begin it, ultimately. Learning is never finished.

How much of an influence did your parents/peers/teachers have on the schools you chose to apply to?

Not much at all. My parents pretty much let me have free reign to research schools and I didn’t apply to the same schools as my peers.

Where else did you apply?

University of Michigan, University of Chicago, Hope College, Calvin College, Grand Valley State, Aquinas College, Connecticut College, Bates College, Bowdoin College, Trinity College, Wheaton College, Earlham College, Illinois Wesleyan, Knox College, Kalamazoo College, The College of Wooster, Kenyon College, Oberlin College, Grinnell College, Macalester College, Denison College, and Dickinson College.

What do you see as benefits of going to college?

One is able to articulate oneself better and answer the “so what?” questions. Also, “unpacking” complex concepts.

What are some negatives of going to school?

It’s not cheap.

Did you consider a gap year? Why or why not?

I didn’t, mostly because I was ready to start college and I wanted to get it underway.

Now that you’re here at Beloit College, do you think you would change anything about your choices regarding your education?

I wouldn’t. I love it here and I think it’s the perfect fit for me.

How do you think you will use your education later in life?

I’d love to be an anthropologist and study mermaids. I’m only half-joking with the second part.

Also, what’s your favorite dessert?

Plain popcorn or apples with peanut butter