Was it worth it?

In less than two weeks, I will be walking onto the stage to receive a substitute diploma from the administration at Missouri Southern (the real one will arrive in the mail several weeks later). I will proudly shake the hand of some “bigwig” at Southern as I receive the most expensive piece of paper I’ve ever held. The million-dollar question (or rather, the $30,000 question) is this: was it worth it?

Was it worth all of the long nights I spent on papers that instructors would likely skim (or not read at all)? Was it worth the stress involved in studying for tests for which there was little chance of success? 

Was it worth the boring lectures that I endured at the hands of more than a few professors? 

Was it worth the mental energy poured into group projects with students so difficult that I wonder how they have the competence to tie their shoes in the morning? (If you never experienced this in college, you probably are said student). Was it worth the frustration when I didn’t receive a grade you believed to be fair?

Let me ask it in a different way.

Was it worth the time invested into my degree that I could have spent making money at a minimum-wage job out of high school? Was it worth the mentors that I have gained not only in my areas of study but in other places throughout Southern? 

Was it worth the encouragement that I received from my instructors and my peers when the semesters seemed like too much to bear? 

Was it worth the opportunities that I was given as a student to participate in nearly every organization imaginable? 

Was it worth the friendships that I have made during my time in college? 

Was it worth the time and effort spent over the last four years to grow into a more mature individual?

For those of you with a week, with months, or with years of college left in your careers, you will one day be asking yourself the same question:

Was it worth it?

In that moment, I want you to realize that despite a few bad experiences you may have had during your time in college, your hard work, and the hard work of the (very large) team at Southern, has finally paid off.

It was worth it.

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