Overcoming Barriers to Education: Now and the Future
By Erin Rebello
School is a great learning environment; it allows you to meet new people, experience different things, and follow your passions. As awesome as school may be, for some students it can seem quite the opposite. There are many barriers that can hold you down negatively while in school, however there are just as many reasons to stick through it for an education.
The first of many barriers to an education would be finances. In this day and age, it’s very difficult to go through public high school without spending an exorbitant amount of money. From school supplies, to uniforms, to transportation and more, you’re going to end up spending a lot without noticing it. And that’s not even counting the cost of field trips and workshops! When you add it all up, going to school can be pricey! If you’re considering pursuing a higher education after high school, you’re probably going to be on the hook for a lot more cash. University can cost upwards of $6000 a year, with additional costs for textbooks, housing and meal plans. All in all, getting a full education can be a lot more than you ever thought.
Although the sticker price can turn a lot of people away from pursuing an education, there are plenty of reasons to stay and also many ways to reduce the costs. For one, you might consider cheaper options. Instead of opting for a university farther away, you may opt for one close to where you live, where it would be easy to commute to. That way, you would be able to avoid having to pay for housing accommodations. You might also consider getting a job to help offset future university costs. By starting to save early, you’ll have a lot saved up and will have to pay significantly less in the future. As well, you should also think about applying for scholarships. Every year there are hundreds of scholarships that go unclaimed every year, simply because not enough people apply! Some scholarships require applications and essays, while others are automatically issued to you from the university if you have high grades (entrance scholarships). You should also talk to your parents, as their workplaces might offer scholarships to high-achieving children of employees. Utilizing these three ways, you can break down the financial barrier to education
Another major barrier to education is the mental stress that it can put on a person. Although the school system works well for some people, it certainly isn’t built for everyone. As a result, many students feel left behind by the school system, and believe that it is harming them rather than helping them. Similarly, if you have a mental disorder or disability, it can seem that you aren’t being supported. One way to solve this problem is by talking to a trusted adult, such as a parent, teacher, or guidance counselor. With their help, you may be able to find the accommodations you require in certain classes, preventing school from putting too much stress on you at once. If there is no way to make accommodations, remember that you always have options of changing your program or level of study. For example, you might want to switch from academic science to applied science to better suit your needs. Be sure to discuss with your guidance counsellor before making any major changes!
Although school has its ups and downs, and some days you might feel like it’s not worth it at all, remember that education is valuable, not only to getting a future job, but also to being an aware and educated citizen. There can be major barriers to an education, by overcoming these obstacles, you’ll be a stronger p