I had an interesting question the other day. A family member asked me why I bother going to school. This really got me thinking and I would like to share with you why.
First, some background. I am 35 years old with three children. I have a great job, in fact, I have two great jobs. Both with a healthy salary that I can get through life with in moderate comfort. It is the ideal middle-class situation. Furthermore, I am damn busy without the added stresses of assignments and studying.
So, why do I do it? Why do I put myself through the pain of studying when I could be lounging in the backyard. Why do I stress about deadlines when I have two jobs and three kids to worry about.
Here is why:
School Makes me a Better Person
My mind works best when it is full and moving constantly. I am not a “relaxing” kind of person and I get major anxiety when I end up with nothing to do. When I am navigating multiple things at once I am actually better at everything. When faced with one simple task I will either a) not do it, or b) do it with minimal effort.
Learning stimulates my mind and body in a way I never thought possible. Ya, I probably forget half of what I learn the moment I take a final but while I am going through the learning process I am on fire. I feel stronger and healthier. I can also understand the whole around me in different ways.
Going to School Gives me Pride
I didn’t graduate from High School. My adolescence was not typical and education was not paramount in my family. I come from a long line of High School dropouts and blue collar workers. Not to say there is anything wrong with a blue collar profession because there isn’t. It takes hard work and skill to do a lot of those jobs. But I knew from very early on it wasn’t for me.
It never occurred to me that I could be educated. I truly believed it was reserved for the privileged, which I was most certainly not. I didn’t go to University until I was nearly 30 and when I got in I could have held a party for that one piece of paper. I was on top of the world and couldn’t believe that I have achieved the simple act of being accepted into University. It was surreal.
As I finished assignments and started doing work that I hadn’t even gotten to in HIgh School I found a new sense of pride I had never felt before. As it turns out, I am not stupid. In fact I am kind of smart! I learned that I can articulate ideas and understand complex concepts. I was (and am) so very proud of myself for doing what I always believed to be the impossible.
Going to school makes me a better Mom
This isn’t exactly clear cut. Obviously, I work very hard in my career(s) and adding school to the mix is adding priorities and taking time away from my family. Some are under the impression that it is selfish and straight up wrong for me to take on an education. I know this because they have told me…..to my face….#awkward.
I look at all of this from a very different point of view. I was told that I would never accomplish a University education and that it was easier for me to set my sights on the obtainable. Basically, accept what I am given and be happy about it (and for God sakes be quiet).
This is just not the person that I am. I have hopes and dreams just like I have fears and failures. Growing as a person doesn’t stop when we hit adulthood. I wanted more, I have always wanted more.
Now my children watch me learn. They see me try hard and succeed….and sometimes fail (never a class of course, but there are failures in learning). I want nothing more in the entire world for them to chase their dreams as they grow into adults and beyond. I am making education important to me and hopefully important to them.