Understanding the Value of Your Education

Before I start, I would like to begin with a small disclaimer. It is not my intention to come off as sounding arrogant, over privileged, or insensitive to other people’s situations. This is something that I truly don’t understand, so, please, if you disagree with me, feel free to try to set me straight.

Over the course of my four years being a higher education student, I have come across people who have different outlooks and perspectives on life. I like to think that I’m an open-minded person and if that’s how you live your life, then who am I to tell you that you’re wrong? But, there’s one that I just don’t get: the people who never go to class, don’t do their assignments, and just don’t try in general when it comes to college.

There are some people I know, who are much like myself, who always try (and, most of the time, succeed) to get assignments and readings done in time for their deadline. I don’t care how stressed out or crazy an assignment might make me. The one thing that keeps me sane is the thought that once I finish that paper, project, homework assignment, etc., I don’t have to worry about it anymore. It’s one less thing on my plate. I’m not going to name any names, but there are several people that I know who just. don’t. care. Some of those people consistently turn assignments in well passed the due date, some just don’t do them all together, or they’re a mixture of the two. So here are some of the things I don’t understand about that:

  1. Where the hell are you finding these professors who are so willing to give you so many extensions? Every professor that I’ve ever had have been incredibly strict about deadlines except for those people who have a really, REALLY good reason for turning in the assignment or taking the test late.
  2. Not turning in assignments on time or at all leads to poor or failing grades. Poor or failing grades lead to a lower GPA. A lower GPA might mean not getting into your intended program, not getting into that grad school you might need, or not getting your dream job. So, in the long run, was spending that four hours sleeping or doing whatever it was that you were doing instead of that assignment really worth it?
  3. In addition to the whole poor/failing grade leading to a not-so-great GPA, you’re wasting money. I don’t care if it’s your own money, your parents’ money, scholarships, financial aid, whatever. You. Are. Wasting. Money. Why even sign up for that class if you know that you’re not going to put in the work? For every class missed, that could be a few hundred dollars down the drain. Imagine taking $800, putting it in a trash can, then lighting that trash can on fire, then dropping that burning trash can into the middle of the ocean. You’re never going to get that money back. Never.

It might be because I grew up going to private school, where I knew that my parents’ hard-earned money was going towards my sister and I getting the best education possible that I think about college this way. I kind of think about it in terms of school being a service. They are providing you with an education while you are providing them with money. You wouldn’t pay for a gym membership if you know that you’re not going to ever use it. So, why pay for the classes and books if you’re not going to use them in the first place? Sometimes, school, especially living away at university, isn’t for everyone. But, I think that everyone should understand the value of receiving a higher education and the money that goes into it because in the end, not everyone gets to go to college and improve their minds, educations, and futures.