There is so much controversy over education right now. Prices of a degree can be difficult for many people and the job market makes many question the value of a degree. There are many articles out there with statistics telling people whether a college degree is worth it. For the most part, everything I have read seems to show a higher level of income for degree earners in many fields, but this post is going to explore something else. Education is not just about the income that will be earned later. Education holds a treasure that goes beyond the paycheck, it is transformative for the learner.
As a college student who has spent six years juggling full-time education and a family to earn two degrees, I can say I have gained much more than I anticipated from my years in college. Perhaps it is the fact that I am at an all women’s day college right now, but I have become truly empowered. I have found the professors at Cedar Crest College to be inspiring, always challenging me to become stronger and better. The small class sizes instill an environment of collaboration, and I have gained much from this. I have learned to speak about my beliefs and ideas with conviction, and I have grown as a public speaker. I have gained confidence and determination. I am an active leader who takes charge and builds professional relationships with people based on trust. I can collaborate, network, negotiate, and accomplish more that I though possible. I have changed drastically.
Beyond the skills I have attained and the confidence I have built, I have also learned a great deal about myself. I have found that I am passionate about more than writing. I now know that I love leadership roles and teamwork. I enjoy being challenged, and I have a passion for advocacy roles in various areas. I have learned that my career goals can be expanded and I can aim for more than I intended. My education has given me the gift of knowledge about the business world, and the analytical thinking skills needed to solve and analyze problems. It has also helped to uncover the potential I had hidden deep inside myself. While there are debates about the value of education all over the web, I find the lessons I have learned to be invaluable.
I will carry my education with me as I move forward into a rewarding life because I am now much richer than when I began college. Richer, in the sense that the treasure I have is a better understanding of myself and a realization that the possibilities for my future are limitless. In fact, I now know that the only thing that ever truly limited me from reaching for my dreams before was myself. I could never put a price tag on the education I have received because its value cannot be measured. Confidence, empowerment, skills, friendships, connections, and personal growth are worth the student loans I will owe and so much more. I know not every student will have the same experience, but that is because they choose not to. We can make our education great by tapping into each resource offered, and becoming involved. This is how I made the most of my education, and it has truly transformed me. I hope more young men and women choose to do the same because it can make the difference between a career at the end, or a struggle.