I was much too young and oblivious to fully understand and appreciate the value of my education as I was receiving it. Of course, I knew that college was expensive (especially a private out-of-state one), but I took for granted to an extent the fact that my parents were able to give me such an amazing gift.
Now, as an adult with bills to pay and children to raise, I am beyond grateful for the sacrifices my parents made in order to finance my education. Not only was it much more expensive than if I had attended an in-state or public school, but I was majoring in music…which isn’t as “safe” a path as most others.
Despite those factors, they never questioned my decision, and were my biggest cheerleaders as I pursued my undergraduate degree in vocal performance at Rollins College. They also fully supported my decision to graduate 1.5 years early so that I could pursue a graduate degree in music therapy (a field I didn’t even discover until my second year of college) at Illinois State University.
The 5 collective years I spent in school were some of the most influential years of my life, because of my experiences both inside and outside of the classroom. I learned to be independent by going away to Florida at 18 years old, and ultimately learned that I wanted to be close to my family.
I’m grateful to have spent time with some of the most amazing and brilliant professors, many with whom I still keep in touch. They taught me to be a skilled and knowledgable musician, and then later, a music therapist.
Each month, my husband and I save hundreds of dollars so that one day, we can afford our children the same opportunities. Who knows what education will look like in 15 years or so, but no doubt it will still be one of the most valuable assets you can possibly have.
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This post is a part of my 23 Days of Gratitude series. Click here for the full list of posts. Thank you so much for reading and helping me celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving!