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Saturday, May 18, 2024

BEducation is one of the few things a person is willing to pay for and not get,C William Lowe Bryan once said.

Monday, as I entered Room 100 of McCarty Hall C at 8:30 a.m. to begin my first class of Introduction to Journalism, I was quite aware I was paying for the class. But was I demanding the most thorough education I could potentially receive? My professor recited the quote above in hopes of inspiring us not only to go to school, but also to receive an education.

Education shapes our futures. Schooling is there whether or not the student is. But to receive the education, you must not only be taking up a seat, but also engaging and relating to the information presented. Too often, a lecture hall is filled with students solely committed to completing what is required.

When all is said and done, if there is no passion or drive to better your mind, why pay for an unfulfilled future? In life beyond a degree, there are no Gordon Rule courses and no required social and behavioral credits. Life should be lived based on happiness, instead of the dullness of living from paycheck to paycheck, and that mentality begins in the classroom.

The UF Student Financial Affairs Web site reports the average cost of attendance for incoming students living on campus for the 2007-2008 school year is ,15,070. For the average American family, this sum is large, but well worth a BguaranteedC bright future. The only question is, are we overlooking the great expenses and not focusing on whether we are getting our money?s worth? If only satisfying the debt of schooling would guarantee an education - but it?s not quite that easy.

In this materialistic society, we go to Best Buy or Wal-Mart and pile our carts high with electronics, expecting instant gratification as soon as we pay. With education, that gratification is not instant. In order to seize the opportunity to excel, we must not simply pay tuition. We must be ready to maintain the determination that got us there in the first place. That all-too-common dread of showing up to a lecture only hinders students.

Why is it that when it comes to a flat-screen television, the consumer demands the utmost quality, yet the same perseverance barely presides in obtaining a new outlook for the mind?

Take this as an inspirational message that may aid in a fresh start, or take it for what it is. Schooling is what is offered; education is what you make of it. This can be difficult to realize.

This year, let us be the greedy Americans we are portrayed as. Let us squeeze out every drop of knowledge we can. Instead of tuning out our professors? voices, just waiting for the 50-minute period to end, let?s try actually listening.

Jessica Miller is a freshman majoring in journalism.

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