Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Higher Education

When I was a senior in high school I was soooo tired of school.  Probably because it got in the way of boys, and dating boys, and looking at boys, and shopping.... so I looked good for boys.  And then there was work.  I worked from the very day I became legally able to hold a job.  At least 24 hours a week year round.  Yup, I was one of those girls who wasted all of the opportunities available for a free education.

I graduated from high school.  Without flying colors.

I applied to one college, and got turned down for non academic reasons.  Then decided I wanted to "take a year off"... then I was for sure going to college.  So I played, and moved across country, and played and worked, and worked, and worked...

When I wasn't dating I was working.  Obsessively. ...and doing very well?  I've never had a problem getting a job, getting promoted, getting a raise, or keeping a job.  By the time I was 20 I was making +$50,000/yr, so you can see why I would be hesitant to walk away and go to college, right?

My year came and I was working and engaged to be married to a boy who also had not gone to college.... so the priority then became putting him through college.... for nine years....

A lot happens in nine years.  Kids mostly.  So I continued to put it off, thinking when my youngest was about ready to start school THEN... then... I would go to college.

And so my youngest started school, and... I went back to work.  I know. really? What can I say, the economy was down.

So now I'm sitting here.  Sincerely embarrassed when anyone asks me where I went to college...  It just happened last week.  I was on a business trip meeting with an attorney and a CFO to settle a lawsuit and was asked if I went to Boise State....  I feel so guilt, but I just said "um yeah..."  I did technically fill out the enrollment papers and send them in once...

I have a hard time with the concept of college.  Do I think I could benefit.  YES.  Without doubt yes.
Do I think I'm going to be very successful in my career without going to college.  Yes.
Does everyone who goes to college have the opportunity to have a very successful career? NO... definitely no.  There is definitely something more important than a higher education that simply can't be taught... it can be learned, but the individual has to seek after it... you can't teach it to someone.

The secret? A strong work ethic, drive to succeed, and a sharp mind.

I am convinced those three qualities will get you farther in life than anything else.  I am convinced that with those qualities it's possible to learn everything that can be learned in college... eventually.

I am convinced that some people graduate college absolutely no better off than when they entered.

It's beginning to sound like I don't believe in higher education.  Nothing could be farther from the truth.

I'm just saying that a higher education isn't enough on its own.

I still want to go to college.  Thinking about quitting all my second jobs and actually doing it.. starting...  I know I've said that before.... I just really want the piece of paper.  I haven't quite figured out what I would actually study but I'm thinking engineering.

Should I do it?  let me know.. if you've gone...  didn't go...  going... whatever.

xoxo Cam


Gin Gin said...

Go for it! You'll love the experience and the challenge. People like you are the ones who get the most out of college. You have the drive and determination to succeed at whatever you put your mind to.
(I went to TCU & finished just in time to give birth to my first child a week later!)
-Ginney R

Mikal said...

I've lived the same story you are telling... worked my way up in every job I've had - without a college degree. I don't think that anyone in my industry is better than me because they have college. BUT....
I'm going back in July. I too want that piece of paper... I put husband, kids, kids college, in front of me, but I've always wanted to have that degree.

Even if it takes me several years, I'll keep plugging along. Because it's not about what that paper means to a boss or a resume... it's what that piece of paper means to my heart.

Good luck with this part of your journey, I'll be thinking about you!


:Jayne said...

Are you sure we aren't twins? btw, that college diploma is just documentation of how smart we've already proven we are.
Go for it!

Carol said...

You sure you want my advice or opinion? I am, after all, one of those professor types. :)

Kristi M. said...

You remind me a lot of my mom's journey. She went back to school in her 40's and was so proud of herself. She also knew that the traditional college route of going to classes everyday would not work with life/work so she attended an online accredited university called Western Governors University. You should check it out. I got my two year degree (seriously it took more than two years) and am very proud of getting that far. One of these days I would like to go further. Can't wait to read where this takes you.

AuBien said...

Camille ... so you have already started. So glad for you that you did. It's totally worth it. I went back to school while working - night classes for 5 years. But I got it done. And I didn't change that much but I felt so much relief having it done. Then after a year, I got pregnant and have been a stay at home mom since. For me, I like having the piece of paper that shows I did the work.

dh said...

My opinion? If it bothers you that you don't have the piece of paper that says you invested 4 years of your life to get a degree: Do It. It was feeling inferior and insecure around the educated that drove me to pursue it in the first place... now that I'm 'in the club' I'm glad I did it but for other reasons. :)