The Key is Education

Steven - Madisonville, Kentucky
Entered on December 10, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30
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The Key is Education

Teachers and parents often tell their children that the key to living a successful life is through a well rounded education. My grandmother used to tell me during elementary school that I should work my hardest in school because it will effect me in the future. Not only does hard work help me achieve a golden star beside my name in the hallway, but can influence my life for the better in the long run. At the time when she said this I didn’t fully understand where she was coming from, but now I do. By trying the best one can do in school at an early age, the hard work will pay off in the long run. Determination and hard work will also help a child maintain better grades and their maturity level will increase faster than kids who relax and slack in school. This will also set the child on a path to further their education in to the college level. I believe because of education, a person’s life will increase ten fold.

My parents and grandparents have always taught me to learn from my mistakes and they have also taught me to learn from their mistakes. When I was a junior in high school I started my search for the colleges that I might want to attend. When my grandmother, Mary Williams, heard that I might take a break from school for a semester or two she asked me to come sit down with her in the kitchen to have a talk. She started by asking my reasons for wanting to not go to college. My reasons were the average reasons: I was tired of school and my girlfriend would be away from me. She looked at me and said, “let me tell you my education experiences.” My grandmother was born in 1944 and she started her story in the first grade.

There was one school house where she lived and it ranged from kindergarten through twelfth grade. She didn’t attend kindergarten because her family didn’t have enough money to afford for her to go. My grandmother did well through school, she never dropped lower than a C in any subject. Then she told me about her high school experience. Her family wasn’t financially stable, and she had to get a job at a grocery store her sophomore year to help pay bills and buy food. Because of the need to work within the family, she had to drop out of school and start life as a child without a chance to make anything out of herself.

When my grandmother finished with her story, I knew the reason why she had to tell me. She told me that because I live in a generation where I can go to college to further my education and make something out of myself, then I better do it. When she finished, she urged me to talk to my mother about her senior year experiences.

My mother graduated from high school as an A and B student and graduated with over a 3.5 GPA. During my Mom’s senior year in high school she was working at Wal-Mart. Near the end of the year she had to make the decision to pick which college she was going to go to. She was going to either stay at the local community college for a year or two, or if she even decided to go to college. Money was tight and it was also going to factor into her decision. Because my mother wasn’t a part of a wealthy family, she received a large amount of financial aid and with the help of a few student loans, she could have made it through college. While making her decision, Wal-Mart hit its big boom in the late eighty’s and she managed to receive a two dollar and fifty cent raise along with a co-supervisor position that came along with paid holidays and paid vacations.

Wal-Mart’s big boom made a huge impact in my mother’s decision of whether or not she should enroll into a college. She told me my senior year in high school that she had it sculpted in her mind that, since she got this raise in only a year from starting at Wal-Mart, then she must keep moving on up in the food chain. Her decision eventually was to stay at home, be closer to her family, and do her best to move up the Wal-mart totem poll. She stayed for a couple more years hoping to make another big leap into a higher-up position. Nothing ever happened and she eventually left her job at Wal-Mart to find one that paid more to support her upcoming baby.

When my mom made this decision she didn’t look at the big picture in life, and didn’t know what all a college degree could and would do for her in the future. If she knew she could make over one million dollars more in her lifetime then she would have without a doubt chosen to earn a college degree. She told me later on that all she did was take the easy route and didn’t want to go through the stress and hard work. My mother wishes to this day that she had gone to college. But because of her trials and tribulations, it has always caused her to push me to do well in school, in my academic and music classes. Because of my mother, I am furthering my education to have a solid and wealthy lifestyle.

I believe the most important part of a child’s life is their education. Every year in America there are more and more jobs being taken away and are left to hang dry because they do not have a college degree. In twenty-first century America it is almost impossible to find a good reliable job without a college education. Not only does a degree give graduates a reliable job right out of college and the ability to make more money, but it also helps improve their maturity level and increase one’s desire to do the best in all aspects of life.