The fall semester is quickly coming to an end for students attending colleges and universities. As you read this there are many Lakota/Dakota/Nakota and other tribal students reading college textbooks and going over their class notes in preparation for final exams. When you are a full-time college student, your work load is akin to that of a full-time job.
I have always encouraged people to return to college. It is never too late to expand your knowledge. After all, life is a learning process which can only be enhanced through applied studies.
Education is freedom. When you make a choice to drop out of high school you are severely limiting your opportunities. It used to be that a high school diploma could help you get most any job. Today it’s very different as people with college degrees are often given preference over job applicants with a high school diploma or GED.
Yet, it is very difficult to finish school. Many of our children and teenagers are extremely disillusioned with the educational process they are experiencing. And those students who are determined to learn all they can and complete high school in preparation for college admission are often overwhelmed with the social challenges they face every day in our local schools. Challenges such as bullying and physical assaults often serve to push students out.
I realize there are some of our people who equate education with assimilation. There are many of our own people who are jealous of their fellow tribal members who have attained a college degree. I remember when I was in college pursuing an undergraduate degree and a family member asked me if I was a “white girl” yet.
Comments like that just show how ignorant people really are.
When you work hard to earn a college degree, you will also grow as an individual. Much of that growth brings you strength to avoid taking personal the thrashing dished out by your family and fellow tribal members.
Consequently, I’ve learned one advantage of attending college is overcoming your own ignorance. Thus, education is freedom in more ways than one.
Next week I will finish my first semester as a graduate student. I am studying Mass Communication at South Dakota State University. I decided to return to school to pursue an advance degree in order to improve my skills as a journalist.
My columns and news articles are provided for my readers. Sometimes I post to my blog, which you can find online at www.sicangulakota.net
Being a writer isn’t something you can easily walk away from. There are times when I need a break, such as the one I recently took in order to adapt to the demand of full-time graduate studies.
Journalism works its way into your blood and once there it never leaves. I will continue to do my best in providing you with quality news updates and columns.
There’s no stopping me. I’ll always be a writer.
Wopila for your readership. I appreciate all of you!