Sunday, October 5, 2008

Too many posts in the last few days!

But what if I didn't come back and go to graduate school?

What if I did something that I've always wanted to do--apprenticed to someone, learned to hangglide, build wooden boats, *really* handle a sword, make solar-efficient houses--something real, something useful.

What if?

What if I up and ran a lighthouse?

At what point is it a copout not only for, say my (or my family's) expectations for myself, but my responsibility to the society that's given me such an excellent education? I'll be one of the top 10% of the world's most educated people, and I'm contemplating leaving it all behind. I guess it comes down to what you believe is the valuable part of an education--the using your bit of paper to further your status in an area, using it to get a relevant job, or using the experiences for either one of those. Or is it just the experience that you then take and use for whatever you want?

Stupid futuristic, status- and what's-in-it-for-me-obsessed culture...Comments?


Ariel said...

I think if you're working hard on anything of use to society and if you feel like you're not wasting yourself, then you have nothing to worry about.

If I were you, I would be more guilty about laziness than about selfishness or overeducation.

hilinda said...

What if you never come back and go to grad school, you ask?

Mostly, I'd say it's no big deal. You might come back to school, or you might go back to school later, or you might never go back to school at all. You might change your mind entirely about what you want to do with your life. I have, more than once. Do I feel like I have somehow "betrayed" my earlier education? No, not at all.

I think a lot of what "education" is isn't about the specifics, it isn't about the classes, it isn't about the degree; it's about learning to learn, to think, to evaluate, to grow. College, and the next several years, usually happen during a time period of tremendous personal growth and change. (Which is part of why it can be so stressful- but I digress.)

Remember that it IS your life, and it's up to you to make of it whatever you want.

Doesn't mean you should be selfish, by any means. It isn't about "whatever I want" in a negative sense- especially if there are a lot of things you want, that also happen to be good, decent things. It's about making the best choices you can.

It is easier, from this perspective, to look back at choices I made and evaluate them than it was to look forward and try to plan or figure out. All I can really say is that my life went in directions I never planned, and never COULD have planned, and not only is that okay, but I think that's the way it is supposed to be.

I've pretty much gotten to somewhere I want to be, for the most part. And after a relatively long period of something else in the middle, I'm doing exactly what I wanted to do as a kid, oddly enough. Something I thought I would never be able to do.