#30DaysofThanks: Thankful for education

EducationToday, Nov. 16, I am grateful for education. And when I talk about education, I don’t only mean a college degree.

I am fortunate to have earned a master’s degree, as well as a bachelor of science. And while that education did afford me many good jobs and other opportunities over the years, a college education is only what you make it.

Simply getting a degree doesn’t make one smarter. I firmly believe that how well – or little – educated you are depends entirely on you. I’ve known individuals with no high school diploma who were as or more intelligent than me; likewise, I’ve known people who earned doctorate degrees who didn’t have a lick of sense.

Education is more about a lifelong quest to learn rather than a college career with a degree as its end.

Keep that in mind when making decisions about your college education or that of your children. Going into mountains of debt to get a degree in four years or less, or worse, to get that degree from a prestigious (but often ridiculously overpriced) institution is just not wise anymore.

You can do just as much with an associates degree from a community college and a state school bachelor’s as you can with a private, $40,000 a year education.

While I am grateful for my education, the one thing I would do differently if I could go back is to not take out student loans. I would have taken fewer courses a semester and/or worked more to pay for it out of pocket rather than be paying for the student loans I have today.

One thing we all have, though, is the opportunity to educate ourselves. This starts as young people and continues on until we leave this world. You always have the opportunity to learn if you seek it.

I am thankful for my education and for my natural curiosity that leads me to want to continue learning. Be it learning how to do something around the house or with the car to teaching myself new skills that relate to my field, I am thankful for education and the capacity to learn.

Will you join me in taking the #30DaysofThanks challenge? Each day from Nov. 1-30, write or share something for which you’re thankful with the hash tag #30DaysofThanks.