It is likely that education has been an integral part of your life up until now.
It is unlikely that it will hold that status post-graduation.
Do you think of education as a lifelong commitment? For many, school is yet another hoop to jump through in order to start making a decent living and focus entirely on wants and desires.
Few consider the pursuit of knowledge a worthwhile endeavor in and of itself, based on my 3-year experience as a tutor.
I have seen many seek education to reap the promised fruits of their hard work rather than fulfill their innate curiosity and need for knowledge.
Yes, knowledge is in fact a human need and not a mere want. Consider Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, for instance.
In his “A Theory of Human Motivation,” Abraham Maslow proposed a hierarchy of needs essential for psychological health.
According to his publication, needs must be fulfilled in order, starting from the physiological needs at the bottom and culminating in self-actualization needs at the top.
Given that we live in the United States, we can assume most people’s physiological needs and the needs for safety and belonging will be met with relative ease within the next few years after college. Therefore, we shall focus on esteem and self-actualization needs — the ones that often require all-round education.
Achievements, respect for others and respect by others are all crucial for one’s self-esteem and confidence. Competence builds confidence, and competence happens to be a by-product of knowledge and experience.
In this case, knowledge refers to more than what you learn in a typical classroom setting.
Your expertise in your area of focus is important, sure, but your understanding of the remaining aspects of life, such as politics, technology, business, literature, exercise, human relationships, languages and so on is just as important in making you feel confident in today’s world.
You need to stretch your mind beyond the things that are required or things that are highly suggested.
For example, if you’ve never understood the realm of business or the stock market, invest some time in trying to understand those seemingly difficult concepts. If you’ve never had the time to appreciate the classical literature that’s been accumulating for centuries, take the time to read some of our greatest masterpieces.
You have no excuse to not learn after college given how accessible and cheap information has become in today’s world.
Khanacademy.org, lynda.com, Crash Course and TED talks on YouTube are just a few online resources that offer free or cheap high quality educational videos and materials.
The goal is to get out of your comfort zone and risk disappointment in the face of difficulties for a chance of self-improvement.
Remember, pain and disappointment of action are temporary. Regret of inaction, on the other hand, tends to persist longer.
Personally, I chose to pursue a career that demands a lifelong commitment to education.
As a physician, I will have to take board exams every 10 years in order to remain board-certified.
Additionally, I will have to keep up with the pace of medical research and continuously update my knowledge and methods.
Your education should not cease at your commencement — at its commencement. As one of the quotes by the Dixie State University’s clock tower says, your goal should be to always “keep learning because life keeps teaching.”