The Value of Education
Growing up in poverty, my parents made me feel like I was livin’ in mansions. Literally. They never once told us we were poor. They eagerly provided for us, paid all the bills, and managed to try their best, in spite of the differences in cultures, to love us, the American way. It wasn’t years later, till I was in middle school that I found out we were on government assistance. What was this to me? I wasn’t sure either. Hand-me-down clothes were prized possessions. Going to the food bank? Was like an invigorating shopping spree. Rushing through the doors like it was Black Friday—looking for new clothes, trying to get some new hangers, while also looking for new toys, and getting free food. I was in heaven. I was always excited to go to the food bank. I didn’t know. …Well fast forward a few years later… in between time I was in 8th grade and didn’t want to go to college. I wanted to graduate high school and work my tush off to be “rich”. Fast forward a few more years, I started valuing the meaning of education. I had 4.0’s all throughout my middle school years. With an unsteady and horrible guidance of math, that destroyed me. I lingered through high school with 3.4’s to 3.6’s. I realized sophomore year that was college was for me. Northwest University was my mindset, and that was where I was going. Christian, and education? Perfect. Ha, to my surprise, Seattle Pacific University was calling me. Off I went, 2008.
Aside from that, it seems I went off a tangent on the purpose I am writing this. What does education mean? And what kind of stature does it give to people? An undergraduate degree in Communications and Psychology. Psychology. The one major that intrigues me yet tears me a part at the seams. If I don’t pass this general course (my 2nd time taking it) I have failed. I have failed not on myself, but my family. Yes. And if I am revoked my acceptance of the Psychology department? How devastated I will be. All my hard work trying to bring up my 2.0 GPA to an honor roll GPA. I worked 2 years to bring my GPA from a 2.0 to a 3.04. And in a matter of hours and days… the final exams will define and measure my intelligence of passing a course to work towards my undergraduate studies. The thought of heartbreak aches inside my soul. I pray to God, but I am hopeless—because I do not even believe in myself that I can pass. I have contemplated the painful departure from psychology. I have thought about endless consequences, to all lead to one: my rejection from this mind-blowing department. My struggles with insecurities, self image, health and depression all run through my mind as the past 10 weeks have consumed me. Hospital visits, medications, trying to decide between work, school, or leadership activities, and all in between drinking, friends, money, bills. All the stressors in my life that I have denied are excuses to why I am failing… yet they sound so easy to blame. Am I wrong for wanting to blame my failures on the simple truth that I am struggling as a 21 year old Asian American female? Is it wrong for me to say that I am struggling in all of my classes because I am going through a deep conflict inside where my body hates me and I have to worry everyday about what I’m going to wear, how I’m going to cover things up, how I’m going to pay off my bills, how I’m going to be perceived by others because I choose to look and live this way. Because I, I am not sure I see the hope anymore. Not sure I know what optimism is anymore.
With that, I’m not sure I see for myself, the value of an education. In hopes to truly move out, pay off all my bills, and start paying back my parents, I feel the deadly need inside to wither away in the dust because I do not feel confident or adequate to take on these life challenges. I do not feel like I am strong enough or even educated enough to make a good living, to make about poverty limits, to be classiflied as successful (does that entile middle class?) and to give my parents the thousands of dollars they deserve after raising me for 21 years. What is an education if I’ve lost my way? What is my education worth if I worked so hard to try to graduate towards a dual degree, that with my lack of support, lack of motivation, and lack of inspiration… what good is it to me? If I graduate with only 1 degree (in Comm.) I will have failed myself. It is a greater failure within than anything. And to what will I do with a communication degree?
Sigh. The possibilities to me, have ended, even before they began.