Monday, November 19, 2012

Lesson of the Day: Education Equals Opportunity

Today, Diana and I worked at Queen Victoria Market in Melbourne at a fruit and veg stand for 5 hours. In those 5 hours, we each made $40. Yes, that's $8/hour. In Victoria, Australia, the minimum hourly rate is around $15/hour, so we made about half that. For us, this was a "fun" job to add to our life experience and help us relate better to the people around us. For the others working at this stand, this job is their way of making money and supporting their family. They don't get to go home in a couple months and have the option to make more money. Instead, they have to learn to live off this paycheck.

With our $40 in hand, we repeatedly said to each other, "I'm so thankful for my education." Because of the opportunities we've had in our lives, we have the ability to have various jobs that make more than $8/hour. Even with massive amounts of student loan debt, I'm thankful for having two higher ed degrees. Without them, I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing now.

This experience also brought to light the fact that we often spend money on things we don't need. Do I really need another pair of designer jeans or that new Apple product? No, I don't. Yes, it's nice to treat yourself sometimes. However, that "thing" you buy isn't going to make you feel better about yourself in the long run. Instead, it's about experiencing life to its fullest--and that doesn't even involve spending one cent.

In fact, another bucket list item of mine is to have a guy take me on a date where he doesn't spend a single penny. It teaches you to be creative and appreciate the world around you. There are SO many fun and free things to do all around you! This trip, I've tried to experience everything I can and a lot of it has been without spending crazy amounts of money. Yes, there's a few splurges here and there, but ultimately, it's simple things like reading at the beach or walking around that make me happiest.

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I just wanted to express how thankful I am for the life I have.

Top two things I'm grateful for:
1. Education- because education = opportunity
2. The ability to appreciate the little things in life.

When you're sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner, dig deep and really think about all the great things you have in your life. I'm pretty sure there's a lot more there than you even think and none of it entails having the "finer things" in life.

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