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Isn't it pretty?

Monday, May 09, 2005

What's does a degree mean?

Last week I discussed with a couple people whether I would date someone who does not have a college degree. First, a little background about myself. I will have my Bachelor's degree in a little less than two weeks. Those who know I am 27 years old and can do simple math will realize that it has taken me longer than the average student to attain that degree. There were several reasons for this, mainly the fact that I took about five years off in the middle of my ten years since high school to work while not going to school. My mother has a Bachelor's, my father has two Masters degrees. I grew up in a college-bound household, I didn't ever have much of a choice about what to do after high school, besides college. The big question was where would I go and what would I major in. I attended an excellent college-prep high school and received several scholarship offers to attend college. But after three years of it, I was burnt out from school, I wanted to make drastic changes in my life, and attending college was not a priority to me anymore. That's my background. I have now returned to college, and wish that I had never wasted three years before I was ready to be there. I returned with a renewed enthusiasm for learning and have managed to learn more and do better than I did in the past, all while enjoying it more than I ever imagined. And I did it while working full-time. I know many people who won't date those who don't have their degrees for a myriad of reasons. They claim that people who don't have a degree and less intelligent, less ambitious than those who go to college. They might claim that those who don't attend college are insular, uninterested in the world, cloistered and without worldly knowledge. Not well-read, intellectually curious and others are among the reasons for not dating the expensively educated. What will change about me next week when I receive my BA? Was there a time when I was less intelligent that I am now? Was there a time when I wasn't curious about the world and did not strive to gain knowledge the way I will after I have a degree? The answer, the only thing that will have changed is that I will have a piece of paper with my name on it, and I have gained a bit of knowledge about the field of psychology. Prospective employers may look at me a little differently now, but I don't think that many prospective dates should look at me any differently. I always read and thought and sought. I had stumbling blocks in the road to getting my degree, but I am so glad that was the case, because I got so much more out from choosing to be in school my last two years going part-time than I ever did going full-time as a teenager who was forced to be there. There are many reasons people don't go to college, many don't have the opportunity to do so, or they are just not interesting in gaining the knowledge that they are spoon-fed; they want to do it themselves. I won't date someone who isn't intellectually curious, who doesn't like attaining knowledge. But I don't think that a degree says that about me, and I don't think a degree says it about anyone I date. I think a degree is an external like kippa color that is very easy information to obtain, but says little about who a person really is. So even though it really does mean a lot to me that I will have that degree next week, I don't think it has changed me to any extensive degree. And someone who won't date me this week, shouldn't bother trying to date me next week either.

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