I don’t think people these days realize that there’s a difference between a degree and an education. Most seek the paper and forgo the knowledge. They do just enough to get the grade, pass the course, fulfill the requirement, and they could care less about actually learning. That’s why “education” means nothing to some and everything to others. It’s no longer a prize or a privilege—it’s another box to check.
Years ago an education was something only few could obtain and now everyone feels entitled to it. Some are “forced” to pursue higher learning (as if that guarantees success) and they feel cheated when their diploma bounces at the bank.
I write this because, as I near the end of my formal education, I have started to count the things I’ll miss: being surrounded by scholars, being introduced to new thoughts I would never have encountered on my own, having the ability to take a course on film theory or logic or intellectual history… Ultimately, I’m going to miss being surrounded by ideas. It pains me that many of my peers could care less about the opportunity they have been given. They just want to get out and graduate and probably couldn’t tell you much about the courses they’ve taken or the professors they’ve had. Believe me, I want to graduate too, but that’s because I want to put my knowledge to work. I want to practice the skills that I’ve spent four years developing. I want to explore the world and add to my treasure box of concepts and theories.
To me, my degree is a passport, not a destination.