Education is the key…I’m sure we’ve heard that before. It’s been told to us probably a thousand times and will be told a thousand more times by our parents, by our friends, by our teachers, and by ourselves. Yet the truth is when we speak of “getting an education” should we really be speaking of paying $50,000 a year just to regurgitate information?
I’ve been going to school for almost 15 years now, first public school, then charter, then private, then public, and now private again…some of the best schools in my city, state, and now this nation but honestly if I could do it over again, knowing what I know now, I don’t know if I would or rather if I should.
Now, hear me out first, it’s not that I don’t think getting an education is important, I do but I think or rather I know that some of the best education I’ve received hasn’t come from an institution. I went to one of the top private schools in the DFW area for practically all of middle and high school now I’m at the third/fourth (+/- depending on the website) ranked liberal arts college in the nation, and while I know it’s contradictory for me to be saying this but I’m not sure how much I’ve learned from these schools. At least not learning in the way they consider it for what I have learned has been more from the environment of those schools than in classrooms.
But truthfully, some of the best, most fulfilling education I’ve received has been from the creative work I’ve done (writing, theater…) and from observing people and my surroundings. And, not to sound like a field of broken dreams but had I had the strength as a young girl to realize this I probably would’ve kept designing my fashions and dedicated myself to doing the other creative works I used to do because let’s be honest, I’ve never really given a damn about school nor have I ever been especially good at it. I got into Wellesley most likely because of my dedication to community service and my involvement in my school and community not because of my grades, they were good (average) but not even close to outstanding.
So in short what I’m saying is that you should carefully evaluate your life decisions and don’t take a certain path just because everyone else has done so. I might not be good at test taking but I’m smart, and I understand pretty darn well the economy and such and it is only going to get worse. By the time I’m 30, well, I’m just glad I’m lucky enough to not be stuck with some of the ridiculous loans some of my fellow college students will have.
Know your strengths, and if there is a path you feel is right for you that happens to be different from the traditional high school to higher education “path to (supposed) success” take it because you can always go back and get that degree but once you are settled into a comfortable job and have a family, good luck following those dreams. I’m not saying it’s impossible to follow them later, my dad’s doing a fine job at it now, but it’s not easy.
But then again, I’m just a college student at a top U.S. college, so I guess you could say my life is pretty comfortable…what do I know? Well, I know, I work everyday, writing and blogging and constantly putting myself out there. I may be in college now and I may be stuck here but trust me when I say, I’m making my dreams a reality now. It came to a point where I realized, I’m not here to get a 4.0, I’m here to network, to use this school’s resources to get me where I want to go, and to educate myself for myself…it’s not easy forging your own path at a place that says “light your way” but really means “…by doing it our way”, but it is completely and totally worth it.
Know what you’re getting in to and when you see or create the opportunity of a lifetime, don’t be afraid to drop everything and go seize it.
And to all those high schoolers out there…don’t you dare pay more than what you can afford for a degree, there are tons of people who have found success without it. This doesn’t mean drop out now it just means be smart about what you’re getting in to, if you really want a degree there’s always another way to get it, without being in debt for life.
A degree from Harvard won’t help you to accomplish your dreams (any faster/better than one from your local public university) if in order to pay it off you have to go work at some iBanking firm when all you really wanted to do was write.