Higher education made me a better person. You?

Okay so today I went to this weird ceremony called “graduation.” It was this anti-climactic gathering that happened four months after I actually finished my final Quebec Anglo Literature class, so receiving my diploma (with distinction, holler) felt so unwarranted, out of the blue.

School is a very weird thing. It feels like an obligation to me, a basic necessity to survive, something like food, water, and nail polish. Getting rewarded for it and having my whole family watch me shake hands with old men and pose in pictures with my hair done all nice because I completed something so essential to the basic function of what it means to be human felt very off and boastful.

I understand in many countries, education is a luxury. In Canada, where tuition is like buying a couple pairs of designer jeans (I’m not kidding), it’s something that we honestly have no excuse for not doing. School isn’t right for everyone – I know plenty people who haven’t made it past the first year of their undergrad before realizing their heart lay in entrepreneurship. And this is a very noble feat. For the most part, kids who chose an alternate productive, practical route are doing very well for themselves. I am just saying that lack of funds is a poor excuse to not pursue higher education. There are bursaries, student loans, heck – go set up a lemonade stand! – that can help you along the way.

I was raised in a household where going to school and trying your ultimate best and receiving no less than top grades was not an option. This sort of atmosphere was oddly not oppressive at all. It is comforting to know your parents are behind you 100% when it comes to expanding your knowledgebase and as a result, allowing you to have a more informed foundation of ideas upon which you can build your future.

Did I change over the past three years? Heck yes. For the better? I hope so. Three years ago I certainly couldn’t write a news feature without sweating the Niagara Falls out of my armpits. Today, I only sweat the Saint Lawrence River. Cheers, to Higher Education!