20something profile: Shirine
I am a twenty-year-old gal currently cycling around the world. I am from a well-educated family full of PhD’s — mostly psychologists and professors — yet I have opted for something a little different, a form of education that won’t leave me with a (pointless) degree, but rather a wealth of contacts, experiences, and happiness.
I have decided to live simply, for just five dollars a day, while I explore and live around the world, doing everything from cycling over the highest mountain passes to living in an Indian slum.
In the real world, it isn’t your grades that matter; it is your ambition, drive, and work ethic that get you the job. It is your overall knowledge, your experience, your people skills, and your ability to stand out.
I learn more every week on the road about different cultures and ways of life, about myself, about reaching goals, and about becoming confident and fearless about what I do and who I am than I ever could in a classroom.
Now, that is not to say formal education is unimportant; quite the contrary, I think it is one of the most important tools we have to ameliorate our world, I just think there are different forms of education that are equally important but unfortunately overlooked.
And why, especially in this economy, do you want to be stuck at some job you hate, day after day, working just for those few hours of freedom on the weekend? I sure don’t.
So, my best advice? Follow your passions. Who knows, maybe I will become a travel writer, a photographer, or a bike mechanic. Maybe I will be offered a job just because of this trip, an opportunity that never would have arose had I not chosen to live the life of my dreams.
And even if not, even if my nomadic lifestyle never leads to money, it will most definitely give me the résumé and confidence to do whatever it is I set my mind to in the future.
Someday I will go back to school, I will, like everyone else get a degree, but when I go back, I will be ready. I won’t be going for some pointless liberal arts degree because I don’t know what I want to study; I will be going because I have a goal, to be a doctor, a lawyer, a teacher, a librarian…and I will succeed, excel even, at whatever I choose to be.
If you want to follow my adventures, check out awanderingphoto.wordpress.com