Written by: Ranier Alexander
“A college education… Do I need one?” “College will be the best years of your life.” “Without a proper education, you will not succeed!” “College would just be a waste of time for me.” “I have to go to college or my mom’s going to kill me.” These are all things many high school seniors say before applying to college.
No matter what you may think about a college education, or what you’ve been told, whether you receive one will nonetheless determine some aspects of your life.
If a businessperson becomes a multimillionaire without a college degree, then one might assume that he or she is either very lucky, rich already, or has connections in high places. Others may believe that it is utterly impossible to do so. But that is a false assumption. Some of the most influential minds of the past century have achieved success without a college education. People such as Steve Jobs, Richard Pryor, Walt Disney, Quentin Tarantino, Halle Berry and Bill Gates have proved this assumption to be incorrect.
Leonardo da Vinci once said, “Study without desire spoils the memory, and it retains nothing that it takes in.”
I believe this to be true. Passion is a breeding ground for patience, courage, perseverance and love. Equipping oneself with these qualities makes the college experience less stressful and more enjoyable.
Many of us feel that a college education is not worth the hassle. The years and years of studying and test-taking, the debt-accumulation one may incur, and the research and preparation involved in applying to and choosing the best colleges may be enough to scare off potential students.
Some may not know that a college degree does not guarantee the ideal position in the company of their dreams. Others may find that their biggest obstacles are laziness and the threat of failure. The good thing is that most of these barriers can be overcome by defeating our biggest enemy, which is ourselves.
As a senior here at The University of Akron, I remember many times of doubt, days when I was eager to go to class, and days when I wanted to retire the years of hard work that I have put into my marketing management bachelor’s degree. Because this is my final year at Akron, I am more eager than ever to start this fall semester. I have also gained an appreciation and a level of respect for students, faculty, alumni and for those potential students who have the passion to withstand the college experience.
My opinion about the value of a college education may or may not be of interest, but if I could leave you with one lesson, it would be that college does not begin or end one’s learning experience.
Albert Einstein said it perfectly: “Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death.”