Education v Debt
Education plays an important role in our lives, but still, we see people who are highly educated and smart, but yet they are miserable and unhappy. If your identity is based on how many degrees you have accomplished or that you’re in the top league of professionals, then you’re mistaken.
Formal education will give you a great start for sure, but it doesn’t mean it’ll guarantee you a happy life. Society frowns upon people who have not completed college or dropped out of it. Still, there are so many successful people around the world that have made phenomenal changes in different walks of life without a college degree.
Formal education stops at a certain age, but self-education should never stop. Human beings thrive on improving themselves and experiencing progress in their lives, and without learning constantly and consistently, this is not possible!
A mistake that I made in my life was that I was so excited to live in a different country and experience all the great things in that culture, I did not care even if I had to take student loans for that. I took student loans and came to this new country to explore, enjoy and have fun! But unfortunately, it turned out quite a contrast in real life. I was miserable in my grad school, and not motivated in studying what I was studying. I was hooked because I was learning something new and enjoying how new technologies were helping me in learning in a different way, but I realized I was not passionate about the subject.
I had no idea what I was doing, but I kept continuing on the career path. I graduated and soon was under the pressure of finding a job in a short time so that I could continue to live in this country. Thankfully I did find one! Now I was happy that I was working finally. In an attempt to fulfill my long tolerated desires, I started spending liberally along with paying my student loan and got into a massive credit card debt. After a year or so, I felt stuck. I didn’t know what to do, and how to live my life!
All this while, I was questioning to myself: Did my pursuit of my Master’s degree really helped me? I got all these new experiences but all the time was in despair and unsatisfied. I was in a downward spiral and I felt I was in a dark place and could see no light!
And then I came across a book, and reading its contents was an eye-opener for me. After a long time, I felt passionate about something. A spark was ignited, which I didn’t quite realize back then. I started reading more and more books. I realized that things were in my control, my life was in my own hands, and if I wanted, I could completely change my life. I kept feeding my brain with quality content from books, YouTube videos and got highly disciplined and obsessed about it!
And slowly and gradually, things became better! I was knowing myself in a better way and I realized that I was passionate about learning, and life was so much more than pursuing your degree, getting a job, a car, a house and everything an average person was blindly doing, without a hint of knowledge of himself, what his passions were, what he enjoyed the most!
Now I can say that the wiser and better me is more aware of myself, although self-awareness, I believe is a life-long learning process that never stops.
With utmost sincerity, I would like to tell you this fact: Unless you’re passionate about formal education, and if it requires you paying a massive amount of student loan, DON’T DO IT!
Open your mind, and you’ll find other avenues to walk on so that you could figure out your interests and yourself in a better and richer way! Please don’t get into debt in the pursuit of education, especially in these times, where all the information and knowledge you want in your life is literally at your fingertips.
Instead of focusing on formal education, focus on self-education! As Jim Rohn has so rightly said, Formal education will help you build a living, but self-education will help you build a fortune.
After evaluating your interests and passions, if you feel you have to go through to the path of formal education to achieve it, go for it! But my advice to you would be not to have student loans and the worry of debt hanging over your head when you pursue formal education. Plan and save money for the formal education beforehand, but don’t depend on debt to educate yourself. One more thing I would like to address is to avoid taking debt even for self-education.
I made another mistake, where I got so passionate about personal development, I started buying programs, books, and courses and started spending heavily on them, not solving my debt problem. So, educate yourself in the healthiest way possible, but never through the path where you accrue debt.
In this digital age, nothing can stop from becoming who you truly want to be, because knowledge is in your hands. With applied knowledge, comes happiness and freedom. If I had to say one thing that has the potential to change your life, it would be this:
Never stop learning!