Learning Higher


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.


Everyday, Ponderings
Q: Haley will you miss college after you graduate? Or are you ready to be done?

A: I’m ready to be done. I don’t think I’ll miss college in itself, I think I’ll miss the learning environment. Once I get a job, extra learning will have to be self-reinforced and done on the side which will be hard and time consuming. I would love to be a permanent academic. I love learning and feeling intellectually challenged and stimulated.  However, I’m ready to have my own apartment and “free time” – and yes, it’s amazing that I’ll have more free time after school. I want to be able to cook my own food and put nails in my walls and have furniture that isn’t designed for a dorm. I want to be able to finally commit to leading a junior-high Bible study. I want to only work ONE full-time job and have quiet hours all the time. I want my career to depend on my success as an artist and not on a grade. I am ready to get out into the real ad world and make some great work – work that truly rewards the consumer and treats them like a cohort, making them feel like they have personally benefitted from the campaign. Sure, I’ll miss the dorm life, the unlimited food, the companionship, the creative freedom, the relationships. But I’m ready to be done. I’m ready to make a difference and affect something other than my own future. I want to do something bigger than this campus and bigger than myself.
It may sound corny, but I want to change the world.