A personal note to Students thinking about College
College is a long road with an uncertain outcome. But what college does do for certain is open doors. College gives you the opportunity to live your dreams. Not pie-in-the-sky dreams like being a rock star or a pro NBA player (although attaining a college degree can't be a bad thing for those dreams too), but college with all its challenges puts you in a position to be competitive with all the other folks who are pursuing the same job you want to pursue. Knowledge is both empowering and creates freedom. College not only trains your mind to think logically and critically, it also exposes you to ideas and concepts you would not get a chance to think about when interacting with the general public. College can and will prepare you for life as a responsible adult.
My Grandfather once said to me that I will turn 30 one day and I can either turn 30 with a degree or without a degree - it's up to me. That comment really rang true in my mind. I think that comment applies to everyone. Another thing that has always rang true for me is that we, as citizens living in society, can either be a contributor to society or a detractor from society - there's no in between. Everyone looks in the mirror almost everyday. We can either like the person we see in the mirror looking back or not. I feel good being a caring empathetic person - but to each his own.
Once you get educated nobody can ever take that away from you. Nobody can ever take from you what you understand. Your education is yours forever. The empowering and freedom creating knowledge you obtain can not be taken away - ever! That's a good thing for sure!
I believe everyone is capable of math. And if you can do it with math you can do it with all subjects. But it takes time and effort. It might not happen overnight (I know of nobody who just gets it). There will be all kinds of obstacles on the path to success - sometimes the obstacle might be yourself and you don't even know it. Everyone encounters obstacles throughout their life. The real indicator is how you handle the obstacles that are thrown at you. As you handle and overcome obstacles you develop coping skills. Everyone needs to have solid coping skills in order to get through life.
In closing I want to say that I know of no successful person that did not encounter failure on their way to success. I guess that means failure is on the path to success. Failures are lessons learned. Failures are opportunities to learn what doesn't work. Failures build character. But failures are NOT fun. Failures can feel demoralizing. Failures can make one feel like giving up. Not matter what don't give up - you will turn 30 one day - you can either turn 30 with a degree or without a degree.
I don't know if the above was encouraging - I hope it was. I know it was the truth as I see it after 44+ years on the planet.
Letter Written to Friends Daughter
The Tortoise and the Hare