This I Believe

Daniel - Cullowhee, North Carolina
Entered on September 19, 2006
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Truth in the Name: Education

Do people who tell you that after high school you go to college, such as parents, friends, brothers, or sisters, actually know what they are talking about? Could it possibly be that society, filled with the feeling that conformity takes priority, simply plows eighteen year-olds into another four years of education? I have a hard time believing that everyone must attend a university in order to succeed in life.

Traveling through the first years of school education seems to fly by as if time did not exist. The early years of kindergarten and first grade cover the transformation from scribbling to writing. We would never be able to grasp the transformation amongst these first years; as our innocent minds were far too naïve. This transformation follows through attitude and lifestyle traits to the older years.

Through the middle years, during which the drama begins to form a pile higher than an Egyptian pyramid, friendships are created and torn, career paths are still only fantasies. The raw facts, including making a living without performing a painstaking task, fail to enter the mind. The fact still remains that parents equal the money tree. While using the money provided by parents can be acceptable, eventually this lifeline will be released.

Then arrives the harsh reality of high school. Fast paced classes with challenging exams plague the social life of typical teenagers. Pressure builds from parents to “get a job”, or “work harder” or “you can do better”. The amount of stress that compiles within can be at times unbearable. Yet this status continues year after year until graduation day. Graduation actually seems ironic in a sense that technically you haven’t “graduated” into the world.

Decisions lay in the making. Do I attend a university, or simply start at a basic job and rely on the “corporate ladder”? Unfortunately most teens fail to come to a definite conclusion. The question remains in the air along with parents pushing that air towards the decision to go to college.

I listened to the people who have had the greatest personal influence throughout my career as a student. Parents use their power to their advantage “to get what they want”. I must admit though, the sound of college has a way of making the stress a little higher.

Now, the lessons learned from college are truly priceless. Similar to a credit card commercial: books-300$, throwing a weekend party-200$, using a college degree to get a better job and succeed in life-priceless. It is impossible to compare the quality of life between a person with a degree, and a person without a degree. There are always the people that will “strike it lucky” and win the lottery. However your chances of winning the lottery are lower than the risk of dying in a plane accident.

Education, an ever expanding characteristic, continues to grow throughout the course of life. I believe it is a never ending experience, and it should continue forever.