I am in the middle of my first day of the last semester of my undergraduate career at college.
It feels really odd that I won’t go back in the fall, and that somehow I am supposed to be college educated by this point. I don’t feel very educated at all. In fact, I felt smarter when I was in high school. This really came home to me when my Arthurian literature teacher started spouting out the history of England from the top of her head.
I think that there are two basic types of educated people. First are those people who pointlessly major in humanities. They don’t ever have a good job, but they sure look smart, knowing many dead languages, art, classical literature, philosophy, history, etc. I think this is a truly educated person because they have knowledge for knowledge’s sake.
The second kind of educated people are those that go into more useful fields and can actually do something with their degree.
I’m in the field of humanities. And supposedly I am learning things so that I look smart and educated. But I’m not. I don’t know that much at all.
So, in the end, what has been the point of my education?
Well, maybe I’ve learned a little bit. And maybe I can think and read and write better. And maybe I’ve learned one of the most important things of all: How to better seek out knowledge for myself.
Because, in the end, there is just too much information in any given field for a person to feel like they know it all. Most of the time, even the scholars know a little bit and fake the rest. Seeking knowledge is a continual pursuit, and I don’t suddenly become educated by going to college.
College just points me on the right direction to do so, and gives me the tools I need. It’s a starting point, to do with what I will.
But, underneath it all, I’m beginning to realize that this education is only a small sliver of the things I need to learn and do in this life. Life is larger than what they teach you in school. School knowledge can help enrich it, but it isn’t everything.
So even if I’m not educated, maybe I’m still ready to graduate from college. College isn’t supposed to give you an education; it’s supposed to help you start the larger education that will last all of your life.