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Reentering the sphere of education1

Upon reentering the sphere of education, I have been made aware that there are a vast number of reasons for which people make the choice to continue their schooling. On my second day of English 110, our professor handed the class a worksheet. This sheet required us to place a 0-5 number value next to six different motivating factors, which may have in some way compelled us to continue our education. The categories were Social Relationships, External Expectations, Social Welfare, Professional Advancement, Escape/Stimulation, and finally Cognitive Interest. Upon review of our answers, it was startling to find that a sizable portion of the class wasnt sure why they were there at all. I am only certain of my own personally motivating factors, so a reflection upon them is the direction this essay shall take.

The first category for us to place a value upon was social relationships. At first I had placed a zero in the answer area, then upon further consideration it was later changed to a three. I was not drawn to school for the purpose of making new acquantices, however I am finding more and more that networking among ones peers is a valuable tool in this industry, and should not be overlooked. This category also has the potential to be an unfocused students downfall.

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External expectations, meaning the influence from a person, or persons other than ones self, was the next category. I had also placed a zero here initially. Upon further personal investigation, I found that making my family proud is one of my largest motivating factors. Being the last of my family line, I feel a great amount of pressure to succeed from the remainder of my family. Later my zero was changed to a four to reflect this.

Social welfare came next, which was described as placing importance on an altruistic orientation. Placing a three here denotes my personal aspirations to become a highly productive member of the human race. By not placing a higher number, I meant to show a balance between helping society advance and my own personal ambitions.

Professional advancement was the category, which the majority of the class placed the most importance upon. It seems fitting to me, for without the drive to advance within this world we live, one surely would have taken an easier road to travel than a three-year degree program.
The next category was that of escape/stimulation. I placed a two there to show that I enrolled in school for reasons other than passing time, or from a lack of substance in my life. Academic stimulation is the only positive way in which to look at that topic, and is the reasoning behind my giving it any value at all.

The final category was cognitive interest. In placing a four here, I had hoped to show my desire to learn anything, brings me contentment. In my travels I have acquired many skills. One more area of expertise will only further my efforts to become a more productive, knowledgeable, and well-rounded individual. It will also enable me to encounter new topics and experiences, which may expand my desire to learn in new directions.

This exercise has helped me to realize further, the true reasoning behind the decision to continue my education. Some of my impulse responses, in retrospect, were indeed only that. By knowing the factors which will motivate me to excel, I feel that I will have a more solid foundation to stand upon, when faced with the adversity of being a full time worker and student.



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