A blessing taken for granted

By Rasha Mateen, Staff Writer

We are all here for the same reason: to get an education, a good job, and build for ourselves our own version of the “American dream.” However, this is only the beginning.

Once we finish undergrad, there’s graduate school, internships, postgraduate study, and sometimes even more schooling, depending on your career choice. At the end of our long journey, the question is not “how much money will I make now?” but rather, “how will the education I received impact my life?”

Since the beginning of time, education was looked at as a status symbol. The educated were always wealthier than those less educated than them. And that  shows even today. Despite skepticism, education does still seem to be the biggest factor in salaries today. With the difference between men and women’s salaries fading, and less racial discrimination, education and experience are the biggest determinants of the amount of money people make. Attaining an education is the best way to earn money in the long run.

The American Institute for Research did a study, which found that college students who drop out expect to lose about $7,700 of income a year.

Money isn’t the only form of wealth one can have. There is a difference between education and school. School is a mandatory institution that you’re forced by the government, and sometimes your parents, to attend. I truly believe that the purpose of school is not to actually learn and remember information, but to condition you for the life you’re expected to live once you leave school. Gaining an education, on the other hand, is not dependent upon an 8 AM to 3 PM kind of school schedule. Life itself is an educational experience. It is not something you “dread” in the morning, but rather look at with enthusiasm and excitement. That’s what college is all about. Having the freedom to pick majors and minors, and having freedom in general gives you an amazing life experience.

The moral of the story is, do what you love. Getting educated about something you are truly interested in doesn’t really feel like studying. Work hard to accomplish your goals and get where you want to go. College, internships and grad schools don’t only give you knowledge about things you can find in books, they take up a huge portion of your life and make you the adult that you will one day become.

Like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “Intelligence plus character – that is the true goal of education.” Stay in school, kids.