I believe that education is important, and I believe that it is worth the investment of time and money. I know that many politicians don’t share that sentiment, and most students on this campus can agree with that basic belief. However, when money is tight, student loans are looming, and ninth week stress is at its peak, I find the need to remind myself that it is all worth it.
It can be so easy to get discouraged and to think about taking a year off to work or transferring to a community college to save money. It can be easy to become pessimistic and overwhelmed by our workload. However, I truly believe that all the money and time I put into my education at Lawrence will pay off. Years from now, I probably won’t be a millionaire, I might not have my dream job, but I won’t regret the four years I spent here.
We have such a unique opportunity to be young and curious, free from serious adult obligations so that we can focus on our education. And of course, I mean “education” in the most liberal of terms. You can learn as much in class as you can from interacting with other students. Here you can benefit from close relationships with professors, meet new people, get involved with student organizations and live in a community of musicians and music lovers.
I remember how unbelievably happy I was during Welcome Week my freshman year. I was overjoyed just to be on campus, and each day I fell more in love with Lawrence. I was so happy to be surrounded by people who wanted to learn, and professors that were passionate about teaching. I felt blessed to be able to attend so many wonderful musical events in the conservatory, and live with such talented classmates.
Well, obviously every week you spend at Lawrence won’t be as amazing as Welcome Week. But when you are discouraged and stressed out, try to remember how you felt during that first magical week on campus. We can’t all stay wide-eyed and innocent forever, but I think it is important to keep alive your sense of joy for learning.
I am extremely aware that my time here is costing me a lot of money, and that my English degree might not bring me a high-paying job right away, but I still believe that I am making a great investment. If you’re going to spend a lot of time and money investing in something, why not invest in yourself? No matter what you do with the rest of your life, you will always have your education; it will never leave you.
I’ve met some of my best friends here at Lawrence, I’ve truly enjoyed my studies, and I’d like to think that I’ve become a better person. I’m praying that my degree will bring me financial benefits — but even if it doesn’t, I won’t think I’ve wasted any time or money in coming here.