I never, truly understood the value of a college education until I started working. It suddenly really hit me why my parents wanted me to study hard, do well in school.
From the moment grades mattered, I guess middle school, I just plainly did not understand why the heck I should get A's when I could be passing with a C. There was definitely confusion and slight resentment toward my parents who expected nothing less than an A. It was frustrating as a kid because you do these things and don't have the capacity to understand why.
As I got older, I looked back and it all really hit me when I started working: that those A's got me into a good high school. Those A's and AP classes from high school got me into a good University. Because of those grades, I got to choose where I wanted to take my life. Studying Biomedical Engineering gave me an advantage during job hunting because it's not a degree or area that a lot of people know. Getting those A's in middle school helped build the foundation for the kind of lifestyle that I can afford because of my work. Getting those A's gave me stability, comfort, food, shelter, and all material things that make life pleasant. (I'm not addressing the mental/emotional well-being portion yet)
Do well as kid = higher chance of doing well as an adult-- this is the simplest way I see things right now.
What we pay for when we go to college is NOT (entirely) the course work. We are paying to learn HOW TO LEARN. Each discipline challenges the brain in a different manner. Engineers are trained to problem solve; and no, I don't mean differential equations; they are taught to think about problems logically. Real-life engineers rarely spend their entire day on technical math problems; this is what computers are for. But the process of how to get the answer; that's real-life engineering. I would imagine that it's a similar idea for other disciplines.
OK, so what about emotional/mental fulfillment from all this?
Everything's connected, and this is how I see it... Being educated generally gives you an edge in the job market, allowing you to make life for yourself, not be a burden on your family (become financially independent) and honestly, this takes a lot of worry and stress out of your life. People can say that money doesn't matter, love and family is all you need, but when it comes down to reality, are you truly happy when you can't live comfortably and eat well? Being able to satisfy these basic human needs REALLY helps your mental state.
The bottom line is that I am extremely, extremely thankful and grateful for the opportunities I've been given, and it would be a crime to squander what I have when there are so many others out there dying for a similar chance.
I hope that if you are stuck wondering why you're doing what you're doing, this post helps nudge you a little to work slightly harder now for a better future.
And really, it DOES NOT MATTER what you do, so long as you are fulfilled by it, makes you happy, and allows you to live the kind of life you want. You CAN be a successful artist, blogger, what not-- and you CAN make this your lifestyle-- but educate yourself in whatever you do so you can really make the most out of it.
Am I done rambling? I think so, for now. I don't often write these posts a lot because I don't want to potentially offend anyone; but this is a topic close to my heart and I wanted to share my thoughts. My intention is good!
Does anyone feel the same way? Or drastically different? Would love to hear from you. Please feel free to email if you don't want to post your comment.
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