What My Dad Said To Me That Changed The Way I look at Education

My dad and I are both ski bums, and I always text him when it snows a ton here. A couple weekends ago, I texted him about the amazing snow, and that I wasn’t going to make it because of too much snow. His reply was profound. He said, “don’t let classes get in the way of education. This really stuck with me. While I still didn’t end up going skiing, his simple statement made me think about what college’s deeper purpose is. Is it to simply get a diploma and move on with life, or is college more about the experience and the life skills gained? Papa Wetherbee’s advice made me think about what I valued, and what college means to me.

What I used to think

I thought that college was education first, and that people had a personal choice whether to party and do other fun stuff. Education first meant classes and homework came before partying, or hiking or other interesting things. When I was debating whether or not to hike up oyster dome, I thought about what impact it had on my education. I ended up deciding to go because I knew I had my classes under control, but I should have realized that the experience of hiking up oyster dome was worth it as more than just simple enjoyment.

What my dad’s text made me realize

Now I realize that education first doesn’t mean what I used to think. Getting a college education means getting the whole experience. That means lots of different things to different people. To some, it means lot of drugs. To others, lots of classes, or lots of sports, or not much class and so on. College can be so educational as an experience without being limited just to classes. College is famously touted as “the best years of your life”. At the same time, there’s pressure from the college and sometimes parents to take classes seriously and stay away from crazy adventures. This is in conflict, and this took me a while to realize. College is totally worth a lot more that just going through classes and popping out the other side with a degree. College is designed for adventures and personal growth. It is a shame not to experience all that college has to offer. Maybe not everything needs to be tried, but college is definitely for trying new things.

How I took that advice into my decision making

I now have a new different path of decision making. First, I ask myself will I fail my classes if I do this. And if not, I do it. Through that, I’ve gotten to do some awesome things like go skiing more, run across campus naked two and a half times, and had other educational adventures that I’ll keep with me far longer than any math class. Having adventures teaches so much more than classes. So I advise my readers to rethink what their education means to them, and try to get out there and have some (somewhat safe) adventures.

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