No Education is Wasted.

I’m midway through my final semester at UVic, and lately I’ve been in my feelings about the good times, and what can feel like the wasted times.

There are so many opportunities at UVic; there are all kinds of clubs, co-ops, events, research opportunities, and international exchange opportunities, and as I come to the end of my degree it’s hard to not feel like I’ve wasted my time.

My journey through my undergrad degree has been a tumultuous one, and I’ve faced all kinds of challenges I didn’t expect. Ultimately, I know I’ve made the right choices for myself, and at times I made the only choice I could have to make it through the week.

In finishing my sociology degree, I’ve been taking SOCI 438: Issues in Contemporary Sociology, which is a seminar course based on community engaged learning. Part of the course has been our prof, Bruce Ravelli, helping us figure out how to use sociology in our careers and what we can do after we graduate. Last week, he invited students in various stages of post-grad and two people currently in the work force.

One of the major takeaways I got from the talk was that no education is wasted. Whether you change your major when you’ve made it over halfway, or you had to retake a course because you failed it the first time around (SOCI 271, I’m looking at you), or you didn’t jump on all the opportunities I mentioned above, your time isn’t wasted. Everything you learn can be translated into some other area of your life.

For me, a lot of the learning I’ve found to be transformative hasn’t necessarily happened while reading a textbook or writing an essay. Becoming an adult, dealing with personal challenges, and sitting in on those random courses that have nothing to do with your degree all teach you valuable lessons even if you don’t realize it at the time.

I want to be clear that I am not dissuading you from going on exchange or doing a co-op, not at all. What I’m saying is, you shouldn’t compare your journey and your path to higher learning to anyone else, and you should always try to make the right choices for you.

Don’t worry about a timeline, just take on what you can manage and be grateful for both your good and not-so-good experiences along the way.

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