The pinnacle of education

What would you have done had you not gone to college right away?

I never gave that question much thought. There were certain things that were givens.

After high school…college. After college…job.

Ambition meant finishing my degrees in a timely manner in order to pay my own rent, get out of debt, and save for something big that I’d buy in the future like a car or house.

Notice that’s all money related.

Problem was, I was treading water…sometimes furiously, to stay afloat. Since college, I had accrued an enormous amount of debt in student loans and then credit cards. And, my salary as a teacher in the U.S. was not making many dents.There were times I had to defer loan payments because I was in school again (teacher credential program, Masters program) and this only set me back further.

Looking at the monthly statements was disheartening and infuriating.

It wasn’t until two years ago that I cleared it all. Balance….ZERO. This was a result of learning how to save and being in a position to do so. Teaching overseas offered a savings potential very hard to find in California.

So, I feel for people in that boat…post college students paying off those never-ending loans, prospective students dissuaded from applying due to the expense, parents saving for their kids’ educations before they’re even born. It’s an enormous stress.

The thing of it is, many 18-22 year old students don’t really know what they want to do with their lives right then anyway. I didn’t. I went from thinking I wanted to be a journalist to advertiser to sociology major job (whatever that is) to cafe barista. I didn’t  really know what interested me or what I was good at. And, to be honest, college didn’t make that any more clear. I never would have thought that 15 years after graduating university, I would be pursuing a career in interior design. Life experience brought me to this point in a very roundabout manner and I am grateful for my journey.

But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

There are many ways to discover one’s life passions-going to university is only one.

I just recently came across an organization called Skillshare which is a community marketplace to learn anything from anyone.

THE MISSION

We believe that everyone has something they want to learn and something they can teach to others. This means our communities are really the greatest universities. Our platform helps make the exchange of knowledge easy, enriching, and fun. Our mission is to transform education by empowering teaching and democratizing learning.

Watch this to learn more.

The world is changing. There’s a place for alternative opportunities for learning and skill building like the ones Skillshare offers. All it takes is some curiosity, courage, and knowing that:

The pinnacle of education is not following one path to success. It’s knowing that there are many.

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1 comment
  1. Holly said:

    LOVE this!!! Thank you soooo much for sharing your thoughts and this information. I am passing it along, I want the world to see!! LOL.

    I’ve always felt there is something wrong about our educational system. And thats it. People work towards degrees. The main goal, sadly, has nothing to do with learning…

    On the topic of changing the educational system, have you ever heard of Khan Academy?

    http://www.khanacademy.org/

    Here’s a link to a TED talk by the founder:

    http://blog.ted.com/2011/03/09/lets-use-video-to-reinvent-education-salman-khan-on-ted-com/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+TEDBlog+%28TEDBlog%29

    I’ve been a fan for a while now. Actually I wrote a post bout it on my old blog:

    http://hollylivinginberlin.blogspot.com/2011/03/rethinking-structure-of-education-kahn.html

    Ok … enough with the links :)

    Seriously, though, thanks again for this post!!

    Xx.

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