By: Sean Massa
During spring 2014 while studying abroad in Cape Town, South Africa, I came across a vivid mural in the Bo Kaap neighborhood reading in big bold letters “EDUCATION TAKES YOU PLACES.” This statement is probably something most of us have heard over and over from both parents and teachers alike, an overstated cliché. Yet at that moment some truth struck me: that education really does open opportunities for you to direct your future.
How in the world does one end up at the very southern end of the African continent? During my sophomore year of college while researching potential majors to choose, I encountered a study abroad program called the “International Honors Program in Health and Community.” Reading over the description, I found myself shifting in my seat from the excitement: a four month comparative health program that covers urban and rural communities in Vietnam, South Africa, and Brazil. This was it. My chance to see the world. I made the decision that semester to become a Health and Societies major, beginning my current journey into international affairs and development.
Looking back on my experiences, I find that luck is not the only thing that has shaped my life. Without the coupling of passion and hard work, I do not think I would have been able to have a number of invaluable life-shaping opportunities. To make the most of their education, I give students these recommendations:
At Hillview Prep over the last few years, we help our students learn to be more active. After acing academics, we aid our students to begin to truly engage their passions through resources for extracurricular opportunities relevant to their educational pursuits. Maybe the old mantra should be revised to something along the lines of “you use your education to take you places” or simply “you take you places.” So go ahead, jump into the driver’s seat of your education. You will be surprised at how much more you will enjoy every class, lab, and assignment you may have. If you make the change, I can assure you won’t regret it. Who knows? You may even end up across the world.
Sean Tristan Massa
June 5, 2016