Education and success

Published 7:00 am Saturday, May 31, 2014

Yesterday I spoke to a young woman who, after securing her own education in journalism from USM, traveled overseas to take a job where she witnessed first hand that not everyone in the world has the same opportunities.

During her visit to the country of Oman, she met many young women who had varying levels of education.

Based on their access to education, those young people led a life very different from her own.

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Those with an extensive education had opportunities to embark on expeditions to exotic countries. Others are working to become leaders in their communities. Those who did not have the same access to education chose a more traditional path in life. Instead of attending a university they agreed to arranged marriages and to provide a family for their husband.

The local woman I spoke to told me that some of the women did not attend college because their families forbade acts that went against societal norms, such as removing their veil in order to attend class.

In Oman, the universities require women to show their face while in class, but their fathers would not allow them to do so.

The conflict between the university and the restriction set by historic traditions combined to prevent a person who might have sought the freedom and independence of an education from reaching that goal.

These facts make me think about the freedoms we hold dear in this country. Here in the United States going to college is available to most everyone, male or female.

More and more young people are postponing marriage and child rearing in order to first obtain the education that will provide financial security in the future.

One day I hope the positive aspects of living in America will spread worldwide. Until then, I am grateful to have been afforded the opportunities this country has provided.