Stephen Fahey: Returning to Education

I finished my education half a lifetime ago, literally, and to be honest I couldn’t have been happier to see the back of it. That might not be the best sentiment to publicise, but it’s true. I was never built for the academic world. It was a labour that I endured because I had to. Never because I wanted to. So, after all these years, having made life harder for myself than I needed to by not continuing my educational to its fullest, I am, at long last, returning to education.

Now, as I’ve said, I was never your man when it came to schooling, but this time around it’s different. This time I want it. I want to progress, having seen the light by being burnt from having not already pursued my potential, as mentioned. Take it from me, if you are the type, as I was, that dreads the classroom, remember that it is not necessarily a chore. If you can find something that interests you then you can enjoy education. Actually enjoy it. I know that might sound too good to but true, but it’s not. At all.

Next: Cost. It’s the biggest factor for most people, but there are many government subsidised courses that make further education much more affordable. So search them out. There is likely a course that is right for you and at a price that you could manage just waiting for you to find it. And if not, then a second or third choice could yield just as rich a bail of fruit all the same.

Also, that I am a grouchy old man, I should mention that youth is not a prerequisite for education. Especially in these modern times, having more and better options available to you is a practice that serves us all well. We all keep learning each day, and some people who never finished school are far wiser than any professor, so we know that that almighty shred of paper with your name on it is not the key. But neglecting oneself out of dread, as I have, or under any other excuse, doesn’t serve you, or anyone else.

And then there those who remain in education throughout their lives. These fine folk are alien to me, despite my knowing a few of them. But there is a resonance in their approach to life, and education, that inspires me. I’ll never know half of what they do, but that there’s people out there studying and learning new things all the time and contributing on that level I feel a good measure better about the state of humanity.

The experience that each individuals has is worthwhile, and whether we’re good at talking to people or breeding chickens or painting houses, there is a course out there to help us develop or improve those skills to the point where we can improve our quality of life. Believe me when I tell you, if you or someone you know needs a kick in the arse to get themselves on the road to improvement then shine your shoes, twist your hips and lean into that kick. I needed one such kick more than anyone and Wifey delivered, because she’s an damn good woman, and now that she’s kindly delivered said kick, I’m better for it, despite all the neurosis that hard trapped me inside my own head.

And if you don’t have someone to give you that kick, or you can’t bring yourself to try, take my word for it: even if it’s super difficult or feels impossible, or you’re certain you’ll fail, please know that once you start looking into it you’ll see that it’s not the terrible thing you’ve made it out to be in your head. I speak from personal experience.

Stephen Fahey

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