The Office of the President: University of Oregon

What higher education means to me

June 21st, 2010

Hi all, my name is Sarah. I am an English major and Non-Profit Administration minor. I will be a senior this upcoming year and am so excited to put all the valuable information I have learned at the UO to work. I am a first generation college student. Completing college has been a lifelong goal which I am proud to say I have almost accomplished. When someone asks me what higher education means to me, I usually reply with three loaded words: sacrifice, dedication, and opportunity. You sacrifice sleep, financial stability, and a social life. You have to be dedicated to your studies to bare the sacrifices you have made. But the payoff is the opportunity of a better life. I am fortunate to be able to afford college. When I say “afford”, I mean that in the most remote form of the word; I work part-time and piece together grants and loans to be able to afford college. When someone asks me if the money I have spent is worth it, I always reply ABSOLUTELY. I have grown as a person and made lifelong friends, all while taking the most interesting and challenging classes available to me. I encourage any young adult to pursue higher education because it is the most important thing you will accomplish. If someone tells you that you can’t “afford” to go, don’t listen because in reality very few can actually afford it. I know this goes against all conventional wisdom, but if you want it badly enough you will figure out a way, which brings me to my closing remark: higher education is collision of new ways of thinking and preexisting material. This collision is what pushes individuals and society to grow infinitely.