Why Education Is More Than All-Nighters And College Degrees

Does education really matter?

That is the question millions of students ask themselves as they near the end of their high school years. In my opinion, to some degree, yes, education does matter. Without an education, how can a person learn, grow, and get the basic skills they need to survive in “the real world?” I have friends who attended college, received degrees, and landed jobs in their desired fields. I have other friends who have gotten degrees (and excessive student loans), but work minimum-wage jobs and, therefore, wonder if college was worth it.

Some people want to go to school for a degree in a particular field, but the normal college setting doesn’t suit them. Maybe, they love working with their hands, so a trade school would be a better fit for them. Maybe they are disabled, and although they want additional education, they need to focus on life skills and independence. Not everyone learns the same way, nor does every field require the same skill set.

Every individual’s educational needs are unique.

Some thrive on meeting specific education goals. These people dedicate their lives to working towards earning superior grades and excelling in extracurricular activities, so they can get into their dream university. They hope this turns into pursuing the career they desire and landing their dream job. They attach their entire life’s successes to these academic achievements. Others think that federally-mandated grade school education is enough for them and can’t fathom voluntarily continuing to put themselves through the tortures of school.

Parents tend to be a driving force behind the education their kids receive. Parents tie education to opportunity for their children. Some parents also desire to live vicariously through their children, seeing kids as a chance to “re-do” all the things the parents believe they didn’t do right in their lives. This is admirable, but parents also need to see that their dreams may not be the same dreams as their children’s. Personally, I wanted to go to school to pursue a career in massage therapy, but that wasn’t in the cards for me, and I am more than OK with that.

Soon after high school, I started a local non-profit group that does a wide variety of things for local people in need. A few years ago, I also became a writer.

I am proud of all that I have accomplished so far in my life.

I think education is more diverse than simply sitting in a classroom or studying in a dorm, pulling all-nighters to finish a paper that is worth half of your grade.

Education can also come from the family and friends  who teach you lessons that a teacher lecturing in a class can’t. These lessons help shape you through the various stages of your life. These life lessons are worth so much more than a piece of paper that you worked your ass off to get.

So, does having a college education matter? That is a question everyone must answer for themselves. Your life path is yours and yours alone. When the time comes, know that whatever choice you make doesn’t define who you are, nor does it make you a better or worse person.

Education is not just about college frat parties.

It’s about all the things you do, the lessons you take with you, the mistakes you make, the person you strive to become, and the way you impact  the world. That is how we should measure education; not by how much money you make or what degree you will have. The life you lives and the type of person you are is more important than a degree you hold or any salary you earn.

Featured Photo via Unsplash.

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