I was raised in a home where attending post secondary education was expected and not up for debate. When you are 18 and everyone else around you is going off to college, you just go with the flow and sign up for some courses like everyone else. There are lots of people who never get the chance to be educated, so who was I to argue with my mother about getting an education? College was a funny experience for me because it has taken me almost 15 years to see the value in that education. I never thought that studying literature or art would matter in the grand scheme of things, but looking back, I can tell you that I learned more about myself in those years, than the classroom could have ever taught me.
Education is About More than Books
One of my first experiences in college was sitting down with an advisor to pick my courses. I knew two things: I didn’t want to take math or science. I picked English because I was good at that in high school, and I picked a few other courses. The advisor asked me what I thought was “sexy” about education. He asked me what I wanted to learn. I had no idea. No one had ever referred to education as sexy before! When I changed my perception about what college was going to be for me, I suddenly enjoyed the idea of learning. I could learn whatever I wanted. That opened up a world of opportunity. An opportunity many never get.
Education Comes in Many Forms
After college, I went on to do another program but it was through a distance education program. I thought that finishing college was the end of my learning experiences but it turned out that I really liked learning about myself and more about the things I enjoyed in life. There were a lot of problems in distance education courses when they first hit the scene because of shipping issues and the delay in getting the information to people. More and more though, shipping companies are offering international shipping from Canada and the United States so they can educate people all over the world. Also, the internet is opening doors for people like never before. There was also a stigma associated with learning from a box that came in the mail – people didn’t think it was real. It’s real. Everyday, people better themselves in ways we could only dream of because of the continued expansion of distance education opportunities.
Education Grounds Us
When someone asks you to talk about your experiences, we generally start with where we were educated, the jobs we held, the accomplishments we achieved, and then move to our personal stories like our marriages or our children. It almost always starts with the education piece. As we move further away from the importance of formal education and continue to crest the tides of change around informal education, and continued learning opportunities, our education remains the thing that we put out front for people to admire. It’s seems to genuinely be a part of who we are and how we have developed as individuals.