My younger brother recently turned twenty. On his birthday, we jokingly pointed out, “You’re not a teenager anymore, Sam. You no longer know anything.”
It’s amazing how age and study decrease your sense of importance.
Recently, I graduated from college and, if I learned anything in my four years at the University of Minnesota, Morris, it was that I am incredibly small. There is so much, no, too much to know. Even in my area of study, literature and writing, I feel like I know nothing.
If I decided to get a doctorate in literature, accumulating deep knowledge of texts and cultures from times gone by, it would take the majority of my twenties. Even then, my knowledge would be limited to a single subject—Victorian novels, Renaissance drama, Romantic poetry. I could study for years and years and barely scratch the surface… and that is in my field!
There are so many avenues I wish I could have visited in college. If I could go back, I’d up my Communication minor to a major and take as many rhetoric classes as possible. I’d insert a minor in Art History just because I love the subject. I’d delve into more History classes. I’d take another course in Gender, Women, Sexuality Studies, simply because the topic is culturally relevant and fascinating.
But college is over. Maybe I’ll go to graduate school someday, but that’s at least three years down the road.
Education truly is a gift. Through it, you learn how small you are. You learn that your point of view is one of millions. You learn to empathize with those who are different from you.
But academia is only one kind of knowledge. Now that I’m out of school, it’s time to pursue other studies—how to be a responsible adult, how to be good to my family, how to blog well, how to keep strong in my faith, how to take joy in every day. The biggest lesson is learning what I want to spend the rest of my life doing.
The beauty of education is that it really never stops. Inside or out of the classroom, there is still so much to learn.
This post is inspired by an assignment for the Blogging University class Writing 101: Finding Everyday Inspiration.