When we leave school or university, a funny thing seems to happen.
We immediately think that our days of learning are behind and we can throw off the shackles of education and live in bliss for the rest of our days.
I thought this would be true to some extent when I finished university at the age of 21.
I had spent my whole life learning up until that point, now that I was free of the education system, I thought I wouldn’t need to continue with education.
What was the point?
I’d learnt a lot in those first 21 years anyway!
Well, I was wrong.
The belief that education stops once you leave school or finish university, is one of the biggest misconceptions we hold about life.
Our journey through life is a constant learning process.
Much like the days don’t remain the same, knowledge gets updated and changes too.
If you don’t make an effort to stay educated throughout your life, you will find yourself slipping behind as the years pass you by!
Life is an education.
“The roots of education are bitter, but the fruits are sweet.” — Aristotle
Up to a certain age, school is a necessity.
When we are young, we are full of questions. Think of a 4 year old child, and they usually have a lot of questions to ask about a wide range of topics.
It’s obvious that they need an education to quench their thirst for knowledge.
This need for mainstream education begins to plateau as you get older.
In my own case, I studied History at university.
Did I absolutely need to educate myself about history more?
The answer is unequivocally no.
I could have carried on with my life reasonably well, without specialising in certain historical fields.
Mainstream education is useful up to a point, but then it’s usefulness quickly subsides.
A 4 year old will get more out of the system, than a 14 year old. Simply because they have more to learn.
But that’s not to say that you shouldn’t stop learning.
Schools and university offer a limited perspective of certain topics.
Borrowing from my time at school in England, we learnt very little about Ireland.
This is despite the fact that Ireland is our neighbour, is less than 30 minutes away by plane, and that England has had a profound effect upon Irish history.
Yet, we learnt virtually nothing about the country, because the powers that be deemed it unimportant.
Schools are a necessity, but once they have served their purpose, we quickly become disillusioned with school life.
This is why people lose their passion for education. They study topics that don’t inspire them, or simply aren’t relevant anymore.
To combat this, you need to realise that school does not equal education, it’s simply somewhere you go to be educated.
Never Stop Learning
“Education is not the problem, it’s the solution, Education is not an expense, it’s an investment.” — Nicholas A. Ferroni
Despite our association with school as education, the majority of us spend less than a third of our lives at school.
If you were to live to 80, that would decrease to a quarter.
That is a tiny part of your life, you have spent dedicated to full-time education.
Imagine what would happen if you decided from the day you left school, you were done with education.
Very quickly, your knowledge would become obsolete. You would lose relevance in the workplace, and you would set yourself on a slippery slope.
Life is an education. We never stop learning.
The rate of change in the world is terrifyingly fast. 20 years ago, the internet was in its infancy. Now, almost all of us are able to access it in an instant from our phones!
You don’t necessarily need to educate yourself about technological advancements, but taking the time to educate yourself and learn new skills is vital if you want to succeed in life.
As we have seen, schools and university are imperfect finishing schools. They teach what they want to teach you, not necessarily what you want, or need to learn.
The good news is there is so much knowledge out there, you can educate yourself regardless.
Books are an endless source of knowledge, the potential for education is limitless.
If you make education a central part of your life, you will continue to grow and progress in your career, but also as a person.
Perspectives change, times change, but knowledge remains timeless!
The world is full of knowledge, make sure you make use of it!