This I Believe

Brian - Sterling Heights, Michigan
Entered on March 25, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in education, and I’m not just referring to schooling. There are two kinds of education, formal and informal. Both are equally important and have their own, unique role in our lives.

Anyone that has attended any kind of school has experienced some kind of formal education. Some people are more ambitious than others, going to college and learning a specific skill. Others will stop sooner, finding a niche in society that requires less knowledge.

People who have a higher education are more respected than those who don’t. This can easily be demonstrated when comparing the average level of respect given to a doctor with a plumber. At the same time, telling people you do a job that requires little education connotates an image of crude, unintelligence.

Generally, achieving a higher education will lead to a more prosperous life. Learning a specific skill while attending college will greatly increase your earnings potential. And while money can’t buy happiness, it can buy a certain level of financial comfort. Those who are living paycheck to paycheck must always worry about having enough money. This leads to a more stressful life, one which those who have more money don’t have to worry about.

In addition to formal education, school also helps support informal education. Students get to go to a place where they are constantly interacting with peers of similar age. As we progress through school, everyday provides us with educational opportunities. We are constantly learning through interactions with others. These seemingly miniscule altercations help build the foundations of our character. Having a good sense of humor is something that cannot be taught in a traditional classroom setting. Same goes with the ability to get along with people, make friends, and build strong relationships.

Even those who are home-schooled learn through social interactions, though it doesn’t take place in a traditional school setting. They must involve themselves in outside activities to learn these skills. These kids can join church groups, sporting clubs, or other kinds of groups (musical, choir, science, etc.), or even volunteer their services.

Learning doesn’t stop after college, no matter how high of a degree you achieve. Even when you finally get a job, you will continue to learn. People around you will show you how to do things. Many jobs have seminars that employees are required to attend. When working at your job, you will be thrust into new, sometimes uncomfortable situations, but you will learn how to handle these things.

If you don’t have education, your income will cap out at a young age. While your peer who attended college continually get promoted, you will be stuck in a low paying job for the rest of your life, limiting your long term earnings. As the cost of living goes up, you may not be able to keep up.

Also, if you don’t involve yourself in activities, you will end up being socially inept. You may have limited communication skills, find it difficult to compromises and generally have a harder time getting along with people. This will lead to a life of unhappy solitude.

The choices we make regarding our education evolve to the people we become, and the kind of life we will live. Living is a lifetime of learning, a constant series of new events. By making the most of both formal and informal education, life will become a series of new adventures, new friends, new experiences, all leading up to the person that is you!