From my point of view, higher education has always been the next step in my educational career. Growing up I was given an endless supply of Stanford and Cal cheer outfits, University of Colorado at Boulder hats, and Occidental sweatshirts. I was a little, blonde billboard sign for some of the best schools on the west coast. Until my junior year of high school, I didn’t realize how thoroughly my family had ingrained the importance of a higher education into my mind, my academics, and my social life. My life’s goal up until the present has been to do well in school so I could get into a good college because I was told that a higher education would help me obtain a career path that would ultimately make me happy and hopefully successful. Well what aspiring young girl from the suburbs would pass an opportunity to obtain the “American Dream” if it simply meant getting a college level education? I have come to value higher education, under my parent’s continuous influence, my dreams of becoming a successful woman of the workforce, and my overall decision to attend Occidental College, as a way to broaden horizons, expand my knowledge, increase my awareness of international issue; higher education is the door that leads to an endless amount of job opportunities and career paths. The value of higher education is much more than I can put into words. For some it means nothing at all because they have all the knowledge they want to obtain, however I have a greater personal value for higher education because I believe, alongside the expansion of knowledge and job experience, a college education is a healthy way to allow a person to grow as an individual. As my lacrosse coach always says, “You have to be comfortable with being uncomfortable”; it is only then that the value of higher education is treasured.