The Education Want

It’s mid-July. Right now there are likely a million Canadians making a decision over the next few weeks.

The first few hundred thousand are recent high school graduates. The second are those who just did a first year of college/university/post secondary education. The third, are those who took a year off (or 2) after high school.

They are all contemplating the want of money versus the need for education.

Will they take the $19/hour they have as a summer job (a lot of money if you’re 18 and just leaving high school) and continue it full-time, or will they go get further education and training by leaving their high paying (for an 18-20 year old) job and go to college (or go back to college for another year(s)).

I thought of this because I was looking at my brother’s company, Okanagan Elite Athlete. Today, Friday, July 19, 2013, is the last day of his third annual Summer Jam Basketball Camp. Already, he’s talking a little bit about next year (summer 2014).

From a marketing stand point (I will shortly connect what this has to going to college or taking a job), Summer Jam Basketball Camp is difficult to market. This is an intangible product. You can’t touch, feel, or taste a sports camp. You can see and hear basketballs and shoes squeak on the heartwood.

This is much the same as education. You can touch your brand new car that your job helped you afford. You can’t touch education. You can taste taking your girlfriend out for dinner. You can’t taste learning how to critically think (the most important ‘fact’ you learn at school – how to think.

It’s no wonder many go for the quick fix. They want a car, so they get a job, and buy a car. As North American society has based the idea of happiness around things, then buying the car will make one happy. This is the quick happy fix.

Yet, perhaps going to university, college, or whenever one may end up, may result in longer-term and higher-quality happiness, education may cause some pain (late nights, bad break ups, lost innocence) that can seem scary.

Lets take a quick example.

If you’re coming out of high school, likely you never had adversity. Some high school students do, most will say they did (a broken nail I suppose is life changing for some). If we look at their adversity, most won’t classify it on the life-changing scale. Now, to be fair, going through puberty and transitioning from elementary to middle and middle to high school is tough. It’s something 99.9% of high school student go through so doesn’t necessarily set them apart.

Now, you’re in your first English university-level course. You did okay in high school English. The teacher wanted five pages so you gave him/her five pages. You get your first paper back with some professor you are sure is 84 and can’t speak English. A ‘C+’ is written in red at the top.

This can be your first adversity. The instructor doesn’t know your name. You thought you knew everything and now realize you don’t (a life altering moment and important to learning one of the purposes of life: to keep learning for life). You were always told you wrote great high school papers and always got good marks. This can be stressful for many, getting that first C+.

There’s really 2 options now. Those who have this as a tipping point to say no thanks education, I’m out of here. They don’t know how to cope. Then there are those who beat themselves up and say never again (well, never again in this course. They forget their lesson in their next course’s first paper).

Will they pull out, due to a lack of coping, and go for the quick fix of a ‘high’ paying job?  Will they stick it out for the long-term (perhaps never again having the opportunity of making that much money but gaining the life-long benefits of learning for life) and finish school.

This question is true of many decisions in life.  Will we go for the quick fix (the now) or make the decision that will take a long time to pane out but has longer term benefits.

Don’t base decisions on money.  This isn’t to say you can spend money on whatever you want.  If all you think about is money, you will never have enough.  (And likely, you’re not thinking about money – it’s the TVs, trips, clothes, computer games, watches that money can buy.)

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I welcome and strive to get your feedback and own thoughts. Feel free to comment below or connect with me via social media.

Through this blog (Adam Goodwin’s Blog 13), I am trying to help connect individuals and organizations with content, ideas, and services that can enable themselves to change the world. Join me today to continue to better the world and this generation.

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  1. I am happy you stuck it out for the long term Adam……your PASSION for LEARNING and LIFE shows everyday with the many life long benefits that you have MASTERED !! You have touched many lives not only here in Armstrong, but around the WORLD…keep learning my son !!

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