I’m probably one of the few people who went to college that doesn’t say “oh my gosh, those were my best years.” I don’t look back on a lot of fond memories and I definitely don’t wish I was still in college (ok I did have Fridays off a lot so I do miss that occasionally 🙂 ). I loved my program and the professors in it and I made some great friends who I’m still great friends with today (and I did have a lot of fun memories with them).
It just wasn’t a good time in my life. I was depressed. I was completely unsure of myself as a person and I hated having a disability. I looked at all the well-dressed, wealthy kids around me who were going to parties and dating boys and there I was, still perpetually behind everyone and doing none of those things. I was still the shy awkward girl. I can’t speak for everyone else but I had this idea in my head of what college was going to be like. I was going to make all these new friends and finally have a boyfriend. I was going to find a lot more like-minded people and no one was going to care how they looked. Unfortunately that’s not what I was met with and that’s not what happened. It was a very different experience and very much still a popularity contest and I just wasn’t accepting enough of myself to be able to handle it in stride (thank god I had an amazing therapist through the university who helped me a lot).
So now that I’ve said all that. I’ve moaned and whined about how overall unsatisfying my college experience was I’m going to turn the tables a bit. Maybe my college experience didn’t stack up to be what I thought it was going to be or supposed to be. Maybe I’m not going to be one those people showing up at homecoming games or alumni events. But you know what? I got an education. I was lucky enough to come from a family who could afford to send me to college (with the help of some hefty student loans I’m still paying off of course). I had parents who wanted and encouraged me to get an education. Furthermore, I was allowed to get an education. There are women all over this planet who aren’t allowed go to school. They’re expected to work to support their family. Even worse, in places like Afghanistan, little girls are killed if they’re found attending, or even attempting to attend, school. In many countries, a woman getting an education and having her own mind and her own voice is considered a dangerous thing. Even right here in the States, there are people who can’t get an education or further it because they can’t afford it. It’s just not even an option. They don’t grow up thinking, “I’ll go to high school, then college and get a job” like so many of us do because college can’t even be a thing on their radar.
So despite my misgivings, I still can’t approach the topic with anything but complete gratitude. I received something that not everyone is able to. In many other countries, all little girls want to do is be able to learn and to sit in a classroom but because whatever obstacles that may exist, they can’t. Everyone deserves to get an education, male or female. Everyone deserves to sit in a classroom if they want to. Everyone deserves to have a voice.