Day 4: Education

Education, as with most people, is a major part of our lives for at least 12 years. It’s that endless cycle of five days sitting in a classroom with the occasional test and project and whatever else.

I’ve always placed a very high priority on my education. From an early age, I realized how much I enjoyed learning in the classroom environment, exposing myself to new ideas and concepts. I like the satisfaction from a high grade or praise from my hard work. Because trust me, even though my grades are quite high, knocking on wood when I say my GPA is a 4.0, I have to work my butt off to earn every single grade.

I’m the person growing up that my fellow elementary and middle school students considered “a teacher’s pet.” My mom was always involved in education, so I had an insider’s glimpse into how much work goes into the education profession, and usually how much junk they have to go through. Plus, it was hard for me to relate to the conversations most kids were having.

For those of us in college, sometimes we forget how blessed we are to even be able to attend a higher institution. Maybe you’re a woman that many other countries would never have the opportunity to educate herself. Maybe you come from a lower income family and have to take out loans and work for any scholarship opportunity to support yourself, but you made it. Maybe school just isn’t easy for you. But it’s an option. In America today, it sure isn’t a cheap option when thinking about a 4-year degree, but it’s here nonetheless.

Everyone deserves a right to an education. It’s not something we should throw away or take lightly. I myself joke about how ridiculous school can be, how stressed out I become and flaws in the system. There will always be flaws in the system. We’re lucky enough to even have a decent-enough system to begin with to complain about.

I’ve now come to a point where I can appreciate the true importance of education than previous years when I was pitted against fellow students for top grades and scholarships. Now the only person I have to compete with is myself. Sure I still look at other people and wonder if I could be doing more, but ultimately, the only thing I have to worry about is earning my degree.

And of course, learning in general. Knowing that there is a world full of new information that I can only hope to discover. Knowledge is so powerful. It helps us advance and grow. It’s in our nature to be curious and want to explore everything this world has to offer. Sure, the social and activity aspects of college add to the experience, but the core reason I’m paying the hefty price tag is to learn. If grades weren’t attached to that learning, it would be much less stressful, but I’m willing to work with them in order to fulfill my desires for expanding my knowledge.

One of my biggest pet peeves is ignorance. Choosing to just not be accurately aware and relying on misconceptions and assumptions. In today’s age of technology and Google-searching any random question, ignorance seems even more absurd. The world has never been so globalized or accessible than right now. And education has advanced right alongside that. The changes can be so normal and subtle sometimes that we don’t even think twice about them. Like how most of my classes have some sort of online aspect to them. I don’t even have to print most of my assignments out on a hard copy. I become so mindless to the evolution of education.

So I thank my education for making me a wiser person. I thank it for providing me the tools I need to propel me into any project or career I may choose. I thank it for inspiring me to love learning, for it exposing me to new people and ideas and opportunities I never thought possible. I thank it for allowing me to explore the potential I have. I may not know yet what direction I’m going, but I know my education is a key component to get me to that destination.

A 4-year degree isn’t for everyone, and that’s perfectly okay. But just having it as an option, or even just being open to learning in everyday life is important. Whether that be going to a formal institution, learning new skills while working, or even listening to a TED talk every now and then, we have so many resources and freedom to open our minds to any possibility out there. No classroom required.

I truly believe that we learn something new every day, no matter how small. It moves us forward.  It makes us better people. We can continue develop new ideas and flourish. And as people fortunate to receive education, we should be helping others receive the same opportunity.

We all excel in different areas. Some subjects are easier for others. But I’m grateful for knowledge I do have and the ability to expand it. Despite all of the stress and hard work I’ve gone through, I know the end result of my education will be worth it. I’m grateful for every step of the journey and that end goal within my grasp, and a future abundant in learning.

Take care, and keep the faith. -Allie

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