Thursday, March 14, 2013

What Is There To Gain From An Education?

Education is a powerful word for me but what is it exactly? We might refer this term to the idea of going to school, doing homework, studying for exams and getting a degree but the real definition is much more complex and beyond the ideas I’ve just stated. I think that when things are easily accessible to us, we never seem to appreciate them. Living in Canada is living with comfort, so why ignore the usefulness of our educational system?

Back in the days in India, guys always had more chances than girls to pursue studies and this was due to the fact that girls were expected to help at home with house chores such as washing clothes, cooking and cleaning the house. The society had this idea in mind that sending the boys to school was a better investment than sending girls because girls were eventually made to become housewives for the rest of their lives. As of today, things have definitely changed in India but it’s not the case in every region. For example, if we look at the poor areas of India, I strongly feel that guys might still have more chances than girls to pursue their studies.

By now, you can surely imagine my pride of being a Canadian. I honestly don’t know if I’d even have a chance to get through post-secondary studies if I were in India. Therefore the education I have got here in Canada is something I really value. I’ve had nightmares about my exams and I’ve been through a lot of stress to give my best in my solo assignments, group projects and tests but I eventually realized that these struggles were so little compared to what I have achieved at the end.

Starting from our days in elementary school, we learn the very basic principles of counting and speaking in a common language in the nation we belong. In high school, we are exposed to additional subjects just so that we get an introduction to different fields. The “cool” part starts when we reach post-secondary studies because this is the time where we have a chance to explore the field of our interest in more depth. I am aware that this is not easy for many because cegep and university studies require a lot of time and a strong concentration. Post-secondary studies allow us to learn about the specific concepts in our field, to understand the different meanings associated with them and to familiarize ourselves with the terms used in the outside world.

Education is not just about attending your classes and writing exams but it’s rather about the knowledge you get and the skills you develop to apply in the real world. These are the two key elements we gain from education and it’s really up to us to use them wisely outside of school. 

As you’ve probably heard, “Knowledge is power”, believe it or not but the more you know about where to get information, the more power you’ll have. It’s not important to remember every little information you learn through your courses because the material you learn may become obsolete over the years but what matters is that you know where your references are. Some of the concepts your learn at school are the preliminary basics from which you can come up with bigger and new ideas and the rest are just concepts put together from basic theories.

Information can be easily manipulated but if you know where you got this information, you will get more credible because you will know how to prove what you are sharing. By experience, I can say that knowledge has made of me a stronger person. I am still learning and growing but when I am exposed to situations where I have to stand up for myself, I don’t feel any fear and I communicate my knowledge with confidence. Whether I win or not at the end, I feel satisfied for having tried with how much I knew than simply not trying. In addition, knowledge has also helped me become more credible as an individual. Having people come to me to either validate information or for me to give them more details on it are what I appreciate a lot because what can be better than having an opportunity to share your knowledge to others?

As for getting skills from education, we don’t really realize it but as we are learning new concepts or solving problems, we are developing new ways to find solutions. If our first attempt fails, it just means that we need to try a second approach and this goes on and on until we get to the results we actually want. Skills allow you to learn more quickly, to take more initiative and to organize your ideas. Speaking of myself, I have used many of the skills I acquired at school to solve my personal and professional matters and it was great to see how my little attempts could make a difference to create a better atmosphere around me or to even facilitate people’s lives around me. If you want to make a difference in the world, you have to start first with people around you.

Don’t underestimate the purpose of education in your life. Knowledge and skills are the two things you get but you don’t get to see them while attending your classes. It’s when you earn your degree and enter the workforce that you truly realize what you have gained from education. Therefore, it’s better to invest as much time as you can for school work and be aware of your capacities. If I look around, some students do well at school while having a part-time job and that’s a good motivation. On the other hand, there are those who gradually lose their focus on school over the temptation to do more work hours and only they know what they accomplish from it. If you want to succeed at school, you need a good concentration level and you should know how to stay away from any source of distraction. It’s very hard to do, I’ve been by this road and it’s only at the end that I realized what I lost, what I gained and what my capacities were. 

Education has always played a big role in my life and as you probably realized, I had set up a challenge for myself which was to prove that girls can indeed go far in their studies. Unlike how girls in India have been raised and taught that their primary role is to do all the housework, I felt like here I had the opportunity to pick which lifestyle I wanted to have and I did. I had full faith in getting an education as this would open not all but several doors for me to explore the world. Education also taught me how to make concrete decisions based on the different information I may get from various sources. I don’t think I would have ever learned everything I learned at school through either family members or people around me. Education was an investment of my time and although I may have forgotten more than half of what I studied in life, the knowledge and the skills I got make me a “rich” person today. These are the two keys that define me rather than the degree I have because anyone can get a degree nowadays but how many are aware of what education has brought to their lives?

1 comment:

  1. another good one. i especially like the part where you describe how it has helped you develop skills to solve personal problems. school and education also teach you about will power and focus, not just technical knowledge in your field. keep up the good work Priya