Graphic designed by Evan Brooks.
Education — on a personal level — is an investment that always pays dividends, and is imperative to a better quality of life. High school teaches us the basics of certain subjects, with the aim of trying to teach us how to learn in general. Vocational, technical or trade school — whichever name you use for it — teaches specific skills that are used for certain jobs or fields. Lastly, college teaches us the terms and concepts of the degree we are working towards in hopes of preparing students for the professional academic world ahead.
All institutions centered around education work towards certain goals, but when it comes to personal education, it is imperative to become a lifelong learner. In an article by Sanjay Shah, published by Lehigh University — titled “Why is it important to be a lifelong learner” — Shah shares his experiences, stating that “learning is the foundation for success.” Shah continues saying how he owes part of his success to his college education at Lehigh University, and the same can be said for most of the alumni of West Chester University.
No matter which college or university you choose, or do not choose to go to, education is important. Personal education should be sought after constantly, especially outside of the classroom, as “the process of continuous learning is instrumental in not just how you conduct yourself, but how you view the world.”
Personally, when it comes down to my own education, for each class I am a part of, I do the assigned work, just as everyone else does, but I go beyond it. I look for supplemental information, courses, videos and more, all in the pursuit to learn as much as I can. The more you know, the more possibilities open up to you.
College is great because it is a space not only for basic education in terms of theory, but you can seek out an endless amount of opportunity, in organizations, departments, local businesses, etc. Learning is not just taking in information, but also putting it into practice, and that is something everyone should do, whether it is with competitions or tutoring someone else.
Being able to use what you have learned to create something, or say it back to another person so they can understand it, not only further solidifies what you know, but it also shows you its practicality. Knowing more also expands your workable foundation from which you can innovate from. Shah talks about this, stating that “as a lifelong learner and a business entrepreneur,” he believes “that education is really the driver for innovation.” He goes on providing examples, like “the development of automation” and “the Internet revolution, or navigating advances in digital transformation.”
The reason innovation is possible is because of our want and need to find something that is better than what we already have, and the only way we can accomplish that end is through further learning. The consumption of new knowledge is like compound interest, the more knowledge you add into your subconscious memory files, the more exponential the personal growth.
There is also an aspect of usefulness, the more skills and stuff you know, the more useful you are, and the more value you hold in the eyes of others. Education really is the most important investment you can make for yourself and you do not need to be in school in order to learn. Learning can be as simple as going through Google, preferably through Google Scholar, or talking with others to gain insight into their expertise, but no matter which path you choose, just never stop learning.
Lehigh University Article – https://www1.lehigh.edu/research/consequence/lifelong-learner