In Your Language

Monday, May 12, 2014

Commencement

Photo Credit: studentcenter.uci.edu

It was a long morning...

Standing around in goofy hats...

Waiting to get a piece of paper.

 

Actually, it was a lot more than that...

I listened to two keynote speakers at my graduation Saturday; one was the Denver Sheriff of the Police Department and the other was a math professor at the college. Both of them were alumni and both of them were large successes. They were not destined to be "the most likely to succeed." They, like me, had rocky starts to their post secondary education. Their pursuit of education was downright painful.
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In elementary school and in high school, we are all led to believe that education is a requirement that is paid for by tax dollars. We take it for granted. We think that our school fundraisers are a drag and forget that places in third world countries describe a "school" in a totally different light.

Once we hit college, it dawns on us that no one is bugging us to go to class, to do our course work and to study for exams. We are no longer doing it for mom and dad. It suddenly becomes a personal venture. It becomes a serious, life altering, career deciding matter. 

If I looked at my diploma cover as if it was just housing for paper, then I could say I have not grown out of a juvenile mentality; nothing has changed about me on the inside.  

It was my job to come to the conclusion that my biggest hurdle to success-- was myself. 


Education forces us to delay gratification. There is a famous psychology experiment that can predict a child's future success based off of whether or not they can wait to eat a marshmallow in order to get a second one. 

The truth is: education requires sacrifice. Sacrifice is also the foundation of relationships and commitment. Education puts us in a future focused mindset at the expense of the present and all of the "rewarding" things we could do in the ~now~. Not only are we expected to put enjoyment on hold, many of us have to use our free time to work to PAY for our studies. Add on top of that, our hormones are in full swing. It seems that higher education is asking a lot of our young adults and older students as well. 
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The less we indulge our inner appetites, the better off we are professionally, educationally, relationally, financially and health-wise. It seems impossible to be successful in any one of those areas where we don't submit to authority outside of ourselves. 

I'd go as far to say that college forces us to be in better relationship with ourselves. If we do study well, we should notice our perspectives and selves changing. I'd dare say, that once we get our diplomas we can consider ourselves to be largely different people than we were upon beginning the college journey. 

Perhaps if we had the "education" mindset in other areas of our lives, we could get virtual diplomas in marriage, the workforce and beyond. It's the process of pursuing a greater version of ourselves that makes college such a great personal investment. And, I would venture to say, that to teach a child or to support a loved one through their studies is to help them evolve as people into better versions of themselves. God bless those kinds of enablers. 

I thank my family for supporting me thus far. I hope they see how much I've valued this journey and know that I won't take their sacrifice for granted. Hopefully they see positive changes in me already and have a vision for how I can be in the future. I am humbled by their love, loyalty and support. I will reward them in the future for believing in me!

Congratulations to all of the graduates out there this May. My square hat with tassels is off to you! Go take this world by storm. Blessings to you and your families. I have a question: Would you go work an entry level job in your future career field during college, or work a job that allows you to save money on childcare? Please share your answer to me in the comments box. 

#inspirememonday #graduates2014 #classof2014 #brightfuture

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