Congratulations to all the college students graduating this month. Whether you progressed from high school right through college, or took the long road as I did (18 years from the start of an Associate’s Degree to graduation for my Masters Degree), the completion of a degree program indicates your determination to march on and follow through tremendous challenges.

College demands a significant investment of time, energy, and money. Class after class, we rack our brains to understand and retain mountains of information while maintaining an already full work and daily life schedule. We work on projects with peers who do not contribute their fair share. We endure boring lessons and professors. And we leave with a student debt that takes decades to repay.

So why do we do it? Why are so many middle-aged adults joining younger generations in pursuit of a degree? Because education is never wasted. It becomes enmeshed in our daily thought process, our point of reference. A college education is an investment in our personal-development, our future, and our family.

It opens doors to career opportunities and increases job satisfaction and earning potential. And believe it or not, a college degree lowers blood pressure and the risk of developing colorectal, prostate, lung and breast cancer, according to a study published in the Journal of National Cancer Institute.

So walk proudly, graduates. You worked hard. Congratulations and best wishes for a very bright future.

©2013, Mary K. Doyle

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