Will You Finish Your Degree?

I watched a video recently about education. Specifically about why organized education started, and where education is going. Coincidentally, I caught an image on Facebook around the same time listing “Things I didn’t learn in school”; and it went on to list real life knowledge like…

  1. How to do taxes.
  2. What are taxes anyway?
  3. How to get loans for school.
  4. How to pay those back.
  5. How to buy a house, or a car.

And at the end of the list? “But thank God I know the Pythagorean Theorem”.

I never really thought about this before, but it’s so true! At least in my experience, (school-wise) education was nothing but memorization, and obedience. In school I learned to memorize. Dates in history. Calculus theorems. Literary techniques. We never had a lesson on how to help those in need. Why you shouldn’t spend everything you make, but to build a savings. How to build a savings. 401K. Where do my tax dollars go? First aid and CPR. Why 8am college classes are better than 2pm classes. How to work as a team, and cheer on your teammates. How to get a job.

I could go on and on.

Point is, everything I learned in school was how to memorize what the teacher told us, or a certain page in a textbook. I learned that anything less than a 90 on an exam is unacceptable, and that you can get detention for doing homework incorrectly.

In college I finally learned how to be responsible for my own schedule. I learned that I was good at public speaking. I learned how to organize large events and recruit an entire town to join us. I learned that sometimes, it’s okay to fail. Sometimes failure isn’t actually failure at all; it’s a sign you’re on the wrong path. I learned how to find the right path. I learned that having a heart for others, and doing something to help someone else was more important than any success I could ever find for myself. I learned that change is a good thing.

We are a generation of creators, thinkers and doers. We’ve been given numerous opportunities to learn the value of helping someone else. We’ve fled to towns devastated by hurricanes and tornadoes. We’ve stood behind our friends and families as they went off to war. We’ve made history already, and we’re not done yet. We’re a generation with unlimited potential. But are we being stalled 18-25 years while we’re stuck in the “education” system?

So there’s this thundering question that I get quite often. Are you ever going to go back to school? That’s heavy. Because everything in me wants to go back to college. Study something new. Accomplish something else. Broaden my horizons. All of me wants to do it without financial aid – so the short and skippy of it is, I’ll consider it when all of my current student loans are paid off. So probably, no. 

Would you? Go back to school? Is formal education better than on the job training and life experience? I think the times are changing and our generation is causing it. We’re proving that you don’t need a masters or even a bachelors to be successful. The entrepreneurial spirit is taking over a generation who, admittedly, is fighting old-school… school. So while I think a formal education is definitely… beneficial in knowledge, is it the best way to learn?

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