I say with absolute ardor and sincerity that knowledge absorption is nothing less than a pleasure, and formal education, nothing less than a gift.
The people most intimately embroiled in and/or capable of astounding the higher education journey are also those most oft to lose sight of its value. Particularly in high-stress scholastic arenas like Northwestern University, students sometimes prefer to bash their professors and lament their workload than to redirect such passion into enacting sustainable change in the public discourse.
Rather than pinpointing each negative externality that accompanies formal study, students would be much better off sifting out the necessary evils and inviting a process of long-term goal planning to the forefront. Once these bright young scholars realize precisely how favorable and rich their position is, their outlook, academic performance, and psychological well-being are bound to improve.
A certain unexpected and alarming event this week forced me to consider where I would be without my current academic resources. Were everything I regrettably took for granted to instantly disappear, how could I reconstruct my path to law school and beyond in a timely and equally formidable way?
Honestly, I don't think I could achieve most of my life's goals without the college education so many of us shamefully criticize more than we do praise it. Sure, a long road of enhancement, inclusion, and innovation awaits this school as it continues to strive toward its potential, but the plain and simple truth is that we are inexplicably fortunate to have the role models we do and to live in a country where such edifying centers exist to ultimately uplift us.
What exactly is formal education, and why is it so important, you ask? Well, it's an institution or a set thereof that welcomes energetic young minds and provides the support and materials necessary to produce the most confident, accomplished, diverse, and clever people around. These are people who will develop the cure, fight the fight, and change the world.
No prize is more perfect than that.
Go show me what you've got!
Dress: Theory (old). Necklace: J. Crew (old). Coat: Ann Taylor (old). Tights: Express. Shoes: Urban Outfitters (old).
All photos by Alex Zhu.