“There’s a difference in getting a degree and getting an education – there are all sorts of ways to get an education.” ~Kait Ramirez
These wise words were spoken by my friend Kait as we conversed about the constant pressure that is placed on people to make the right choices, and the constant (yet usually uninvited) input others enjoy offering along the way. The truth is that no two lives are ever going to be lived exactly the same way. So, why do we feel the need to constantly compare ourselves, or make someone else feel they need to make the same choices we’ve made? That mentality is ruining our lives because there is no way to truly enjoy any decision we’re making if we’re constantly under pressure to prove something.
If you’ve been following me for very long, you know that I’ve touched on this subject in other posts (For example Broadcasting the Bloopers) but it has been that large of a stumbling block in my path (and I know for sure I’m not the only one) that I felt it was worth hitting on it again, except with some new points that I’m learning along the way.
Kait is right. I needed to hear those words that day, because as someone who has always loved school and excelled more in that area than in sports or anything, not having finished a degree at this point in my life has made me have really low self-esteem at times. BUT WHY!? For the things I really love to do, I don’t need a degree, so any job to support myself while pursuing my dreams should be good enough! Isn’t that better than being a hundred thousand dollars in debt just to prove to them that I did something with my life? WHO ARE THEY ANYWAY? So, my point in this is… If you need a degree for the job you want, and you finish school and get that dream gig… then awesome! I’m so proud of you! If, you realize that school is too expensive and that you’ll be just as happy pursuing your dreams while also waiting tables or cleaning toilets to support yourself… then awesome! I’m so proud of you! Both paths require hard work and discipline, and neither path makes you better than the other person because…
Your career does not define you. Your character does!
You truly can get an education in so many different ways other than just through paying for college. If finances have been a struggle for you and school isn’t working out right now, as in my case, please don’t waste time feeling bad about yourself. Or, even if you’re currently in school or graduated, there’s always more to learn so you can keep growing. Whether it’s through reading, traveling, listening to others, or whatever outlet is working for you, get an education through learning to appreciate the things in your own path instead of trying to walk someone else’s. Life isn’t just one cookie-cutter path for every person, thank the Lord! That would be so boring…God created us all for different purposes, and instead of trying to fit into someone else’s shape or trying to change them to fit ours, we should be celebrating the fact that we all get to experience life through unique eyes and with different passions all for one greater purpose (See 1 Corinthians 12:12).
Let’s stop feeling guilty. Stop judging. Stop being prideful.
Instead, let’s be kind. Be compassionate. Have integrity.
Be who God is calling you to be, walk your own path – and be unashamed!