Thankful For My Education

As the season of thanks comes around this year, I give thanks to many things in my life. However, one thing that sticks out to me this year is my genuine thankfulness for my privilege of receiving a higher education. Receiving a higher education has thus far been the most transformative aspect in my life. My knowledge from, for example, existentialism to biotransformations has not only been expanded but my perspectives of how I see the world, how I think about things and how to apply my knowledge has undergone a philosophical katabasis. 

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My higher education has thus far allowed me to learn in-depth about current issues and historical cornerstones that have and or are changing our world. I have had the privilege to volunteer in and outside of my community, to study abroad and my education has even led to me to write this article right now, where I get to express my thoughts and ideas! More so, as a first-generation college student, this journey has been at times a daunting and a foreign one. But, I also remind myself that I have broken many barriers to be receiving higher education and just that reassures myself that I am capable to maneuver this journey that I sometimes feel alone in but in which I know I have so many supporters in. 

As I reflect on this, I also realize that to have been able to break these barriers, I was given the opportunities to do so. I was given a great quality education before entering the university level that prepared me to be successful for this next chapter in my educational journey that many do not get, especially as a woman. 

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According to UNESCO “264 million children don’t go to school” around the world. In order to put this number in perspective it is larger than Italy’s, Spain’s and Japan’s populations combined. Big portions of groups that tally this huge number are still in developing countries where education is a privilege and not a right. Many contributing factors have led to this educational gap including, but not limited to, inaccessibility to near schools, the wealth gap, gender norms and lack of available resources needed to build and/or keep up with school grounds maintenance.

More so, according to the Global Gender Gap 2018, in over 44 countries around the world, 20% of women are still illiterate. It is astonishing to come to the realization that women in different parts around the world do not have the opportunity to learn or receive a quality education to learn to read- a skill set that is the foundation towards higher levels of education. 

Understanding these numbers and becoming aware of what a privilege I have attending a four-year university has led me to become utterly thankful for the opportunities that I have been granted to follow a path to success. I count my blessings whenever I feel overwhelmed with my school work because, like most college students, frustration and stress from classes, exams, papers, and exams can sometimes make us forget how blessed we are to be receiving a tertiary education when many around the world do not even get the chance to receive a quality primary education. This year I give thanks to my education.