Is unused education a lost cause?


Yesterday, Jacob and I moved my office into the lounge room to make way for another bedroom for our baby. We rarely used our lounge room so it was the perfect room to make useful while creating a room for Magdalene’s big girl’s bed.

As a result of the move, I went through files of stuff and filled two garbage bags with clutter that I no longer use or need. Moving furniture to new rooms is good for de-cluttering!

I found a lonely toilet seat (brand new!), washers of every shape and form, a million Allen keys and my backpack still packed from the last day of Tafe when I finished my plumbing apprenticeship. (I was thinking of sharing the contents with you on blog post.) I finished Tafe in 2009 and 5 years later the bag is still sitting intact with my logbook that never got checked when I received my plumbing license.

A lot of my past has caught up with me lately. Thankfully I have a good past! I got to catch up with a friend who I was really close to in high school and on Good Friday, my favourite English teacher from years 11 and 12 was rostered on to care for the young toddlers at church where Esther and Magdalene were being looked after while Jacob and I enjoyed the church service.

I got to catch up briefly with my teacher who hasn’t aged since the day I graduated from high school and she kindly said the same to me although I’m around 30kg’s heavier.

But our interaction gave me food for thought, especially after what I have shared with you on this blog in the last 6 months.

My teacher asked me what I had done when I left school and I told her I became a plumber and she laughed, not in a horrible way, but in an incredulous you became a plumber? She asked me about my music ability… had I done anything with it? You see my English teacher was also the Head of music and conducted the orchestra that I was a part of.

I played clarinet and the moment school finished, I never put my fingers on the keys of that instrument again. English was also my favourite subject in high school and while I wasn’t the best student in the class (that honour was held by the school friend I caught up with above) it was a subject that I did well in.

I have no regrets from the decisions I have made about my education choices and working life since I left school but for some reason I have had this ridiculous pressure on myself not to waste any education that I have acquired to get where I am when it comes to work. For example, since I’ve done a plumbing apprenticeship I must now be a plumber.

I have Diploma’s in Business, Marketing and Fashion Styling. I have Certificate III’s and IV’s in Public Relations, Advertising and Plumbing and Drainage. I don’t want to waste any of my education and as a result have walled a box around myself on what I can and can’t do.

It was while eating Easter Eggs with a close friend on Good Friday afternoon that I discussed how I felt about my education and work and she wisely advised me that she too had degrees for different occupations, yet all that she had learned was not a waste because it could be drawn upon in her current career choice.

And isn’t that what life is all about? Making choices and taking risks? No education I’ve gained has been for a lost cause. It can be drawn upon in future circumstances even if it’s not completely drawn upon for working in that particular career.

This thought process has been liberating for me while I navigate being a stay-at-home mum writing a plumbing blog and working out where to from here or once my babes are in kindy and school.

I’d love to hear your thoughts about education? Is unused education a lost cause? How many career changes have you had since you graduated from school and has any of your education felt like a waste?

I’m linking up with Essentially Jess for I Blog on Tuesdays.