I used to work with a great bunch of people many of whom were older than I was and who, in retrospect, gave great advice. The most important advice I often heard from them was that I should continue my education. At the very least, finish your Bachelor’s degree.
Most people I worked with and associated with at work then could be categorized in two ways: about half were either in the process of getting their Bachelor’s degrees or pursuing a Master’s. The other group already had their Bachelor’s or Master’s degrees.
The “young” groups being recruited were coming in fresh faced from college and were being taught how to become a meaningful member of the organization by rotating throughout the department before finding their fit. Some, after awhile, however, decided that this education was not enough. They discovered that they really wanted to continue with school. Two of the people from these fresh-faced recruits did end up quitting and going back to college full-time to receive their Master’s degrees. Others opted for continued employment with a longer part-time pursuit of theirs.
One male boss I had, who had his Master’s degree, told me that he had always wanted to go back to school, get his Doctorate degree and become a professor. A female co-worker who was the department event planner told me that she always wanted to return to school to become a lawyer. Those two never did go back as far as I currently know. They were older and perhaps for them it was a risk not worth taking at that point.
I saw the importance of education to those I worked with who were pursuing more. I heard their encouragement and finally did finish my Bachelor’s degree. I also heard the longing in the voices of those who decided that the education they had was “enough” but that ideally they would have liked to have gone on and pursued more education.
Even though some people don’t see the sense of giving up a lot in order to return to pursue graduate studies, they didn’t hear what I heard in the voices of those saying they wished that they had gone on or that they had always wanted to. I don’t want to be the one saying “I would have liked” or “I wanted to.” Instead, I’m saying “I am” and will continue.