I believe that education is the key to success. We as Americans are fortunate to live in a time and place where each one of us has the opportunity to get a quality education if we desire to. No matter a person’s ethnicity or financial situation, everyone is capable of receiving higher education today because of scholarships, grants, and academic loans. Knowing that we live in one of the few countries where we have the right to education and to choose our path in life, each person should accept that right and strive to reach his or her full potential.
I have talked to many young men and women who were big dreamers but did not have enough determination to go to college. That is very disappointing to me—probably because I was never in that situation. Fortunately, I have supportive parents who have financed my education and showed me that education opens doors to great opportunities. I have also seen the other side of things in that not many of my extended family members have tried to receive a college education. By seeing how much they struggle to raise their children while working low-income jobs, I am especially motivated to finish school. My family is very proud of me for going to college, and I know they will be very excited when I graduate in three years.
Though I change my mind almost daily about my career plans, I know I will get my degree in some area and will not have to worry about my future. I feel confident knowing that no matter what God has in store for my life, I can be independent and financially stable because I will have a college education. However, not everyone can be assured this stability. For example, my twenty three year old cousin who only has a high school education and now has a child to raise on her own. She works at a childcare facility two days per week and cannot make ends meet. Unfortunately, due to her lack of confidence and determination, my cousin has chosen the path that leads nowhere, in my opinion. When I become frustrated with classes, I must remind myself that without an education I really have no other option. If I were not currently in college, I would be working a minimum wage job or in the military, neither of which appeal to me. It is comforting to know that I will be able to have a job that will give me opportunities for promotion, benefits to support my future family, and tasks that will challenge me on a daily basis and take me to a new level.
The reason I feel so strongly about continuing my education is not only for the financial gains but also so I can have a job where I will personally contribute to society. I have considered professions in nursing, teaching, recreation therapy, and even veterinary medicine. Though these areas are very diverse, they all have one thing in common—they are service professions that are centered around others, which will allow me to give back to the community. No matter what I choose to spend my life doing, I know I want to do my part.
Everyone is put on earth for a reason and we all in some way give to society. Though it is still possible to contribute to society without an education, it makes for unnecessary obstacles. For most jobs, a college degree is required so that we can do our jobs the best we can. A college education will give me the academic capabilities, the intrapersonal skills, the intrinsic motivation and the will to succeed—all things required to be successful in the world. I believe that if everyone furthered his or her education, we would see a positive change in society.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.