The first time I graduated I didn’t “walk”. I took my last final on a Friday and on Saturday morning I moved 5 states away. I stayed away for seven years. I was jaded and disgruntled and just wanted to get out and to be done. I wasn’t sure my degree was “worth it”.
The second time I graduated I sat through two ceremonies, walked in one, and I milked everything I could out of all of it. I wanted more. I loved it.
Now I have the opportunity to sit up on stage at graduation ceremonies every year and it gives me a moment to pause and reflect at the differences between my first and second ceremonies. Or rather, compare my attitude relating to the two educational experiences.
What I have learned from this reflection is at the heart of why I do my job.
What I learned is that I did it all wrong the first time. The worst part is that I didn’t know I had done it wrong till I did it the second time.
I had done it all wrong and because of that I didn’t think it had been worth it. I worked hard, and scrimped and scratched to pay for it, and I needed a degree to get a job, and sure I learned some stuff in there and I definitely needed a job, but in the end I felt spent and it was almost as if any real lessons I had learned were in spite of, rather than because of, school.
Then, thinking I was only pursuing career advancement in a trade school sort of way, I went to school again and it was as if fireworks, a choir of angels, and all the possible light bulbs surrounded me in glittering explosions of song and light.
I was risking more, spending ten times more, and it was the most wonderfully indulgent experience imaginable.
And because of it, I am happier every day after, than I was any day before.
That happiness is how I measure worth.
Education is worth it… when you do it right.
School is worth it.
Worth, all of it.
That is why I love my job. There are things about my job that are hard, that are drudgery, that frustrate me to no end, but I love it because I can feign some wisdom from what I have learned along the way and I can help others know how to do it right the first time.
You can do it right the first time.
Happy graduation season everyone!
One thought on “It Is Worth the Trouble: depending on how you measure it.”
I worked for thirty years to graduate – crazy! I flew across the country & cherished every minute because I worked so hard to finish. The lessons gained in pursuing a degree are greater than the daily assignments, even though I use those every single day. The classes that I hated the most are the ones that I use the most now.