Graduate School: Why not?

Going into high school, as a 13-year-old boy, I had many dreams and aspirations to one-day complete schooling all the way up to the doctoral level and to go on to change the world (yes I was quite young, I started school early). Coming out of high school, I narrowed down to three major disciplines of engineering — Software Engineering, Computer Engineering Technology, and Electrical Engineering. I decided on Electrical Engineering and sought to apply my undergraduate knowledge to an even higher level of education to go on to change the world.

Now, as a current undergraduate student, I have maintained my aspirations, goals, and dreams. I have a deep passion for impacting my community, for consistently solving real-world problems and furthering my education to receive a Doctorate degree in engineering so that I can indeed change the world. Why did I just repeat myself three times? Why do I sound so obsessed with going to grad school? Why do I sound so absurd? The question I choose to ask is “Why not?”

As I have matriculated academically at Kennesaw State University, I have learned how abundant opportunities are in the graduate and post-graduate world. There are numerous programs that provide endless possibilities for students who want to make a huge impact. I specifically find myself attracted to the disciplines of Quality Control, Applied Analysis, Automation and Advanced Electrical Engineering Principles. So when my schoolmates ask me “what are you majoring in?” I proudly state “Electrical Engineering, Double Minor in Mathematics and Industrial Engineering – Quality Principles.” I then aim to continue my education by obtaining a Master’s and PhD Degree in Electrical Engineering with concentrations in Advancements in Materials Science and Alternative Energy.

Again, you may ask why I sound so absurd, but I continue to beg the question of “why not?” I have realized two very important things as a student of higher education.

Firstly, yes, college is long, grueling and can be very discouraging for most. However, this system (though, in my opinion, can still be operated better by the powers that be) teaches one how to learn. It teaches one how to balance work, school, and leisure. It also enlightens current students on how much more they can achieve through education. But what is education? The word educe means “to bring out of, such as with something latent.” This leads me to my second realization.

Never stop learning. Never cease to challenge yourself to bring out your own full potential. Knowledge is not always found in a textbook or a novel (though, they are not to be excluded from the list either). Learning can be exchanged between student and teacher. Knowledge can be acquired from watching YouTube all day. Knowledge can be acquired from failing 7 times and succeeding on the 8th attempt. Knowledge can be acquired from watching and waiting. All of these variations of how education is implemented are pivotal to especially the millennial generation. We are the quintessential members of an era of autonomous driving. A society where you can make a career as a Video Blogger on YouTube (who actually creates influential content.) We live in a world that is on it’s way to “Zero Crashes, Zero Emissions, Zero Congestion” (Mary Barra –GM CEO). Despite its many issues, the world is still an incredible place filled with endless opportunities to save and maintain the environment.

Again, do I sound absurd? Why am I going on about all of this as 21-year-old college student who could be partying his life away on campus? Why do I care about three pieces of paper? The question is “Why not?” Those pieces of paper, are indeed simple documents that prove I completed a series of semi-convoluted educational criteria for a period of 4 – 8 years. However, the knowledge I will have acquired by that time, combined with my incessant desire to bring about a difference in society, can propel me far into the future — an Engineer’s Future — Bengineer’s Future (yes, I had to throw that in at least once, hopefully you will catch on to it.)

So my challenge to you readers is this:

Learn all that you can. Whether from a book, a lecture presentation, a class, an educational program, an episode of PBS Crash Course, or from dabbling with DIY Projects on the weekend. Whether we know it or not, the world is becoming smarter by the day and it needs brighter minds that have been trained on theoretical, conceptual and technical skills to manage it, to envision it, to improve it and to perceive it. Just ask yourself: “Why not?”

Thanks for Reading —- BKT

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