The Power of Education

studying 7

Since I was young, my parents have always told me how important education is. However, I didn’t really understand how important it was until more recently, in the past few years. In high school, it seemed like so many things we were taught weren’t important – I didn’t see the big picture and I took it for granted. However, today I do understand, and the more I grow up, the more I believe education is the answer to solve a lot of problems. The good news is, people are getting more and more educated across the globe so we definitely are heading in the right direction. For instance, in the US, in 2014, 34% of people in their twenties had completed a bachelor’s degree or higher, compared to 23% in 1990. In Canada, post-secondary education increased from 39% to 50% from 1999 to 2009. However, it is something that we must always fight for, because it takes one bad policy to go backwards. It takes a Donald Trump who “loves uneducated people” and who knows they get him elected.

Education isn’t always easy. As I am currently doing my master’s, I spend most of my days alone in my apartment studying. It requires a lot of discipline as well as the power to say no to certain activities. It’s all about focusing on long term goals. I also need to motivate myself to get up early and start studying as if I had a normal job. Over the past few years, I found certain things very helpful in achieving this. First, I try to surround myself with people who are motivated and I nourish those relationships as much as possible. Second, I try to exercise at least three times a week. It gives me a rush of energy and I am always a lot more productive after that. Finally, even though I stay focused on my long-term objectives, I also set time aside to do fun activities – life’s too short to work all the time. It always relaxes me, it helps me put everything into perspective and I always perform better afterwards.

Education is important worldwide. Everyone should be able to go to school and learn. With education, people learn how to think on their own, they question authority, and they are more independent. As a woman, education makes me feel like I can rely on myself – I don’t need a man to support me. This is crucial in so many ways. When you can rely on yourself, you start looking for other things in a partner than someone who can simply provide for you. You start looking for a teammate – someone who is going to support you in all your endeavours, who’ll be your cheerleader, whom you’ll be able to make projects with, who’s going to be your ally. Of course, all those things go both ways. On top of this, if things don’t work out and you’re unhappy in your relationship, you won’t feel trapped in it because you need the other person to provide for you. In the end, you are with your partner because you love them, they make you happy, and you support each other’s endeavours. Now that sounds like a pretty healthy relationship to me. We should all aim for this.

Sadly today, a lot of teenagers look up to the Kardashians of this world as an example. We don’t put enough emphasis on education, and I think that is quite sad. Of course, with high student debts in the US, starting salaries that haven’t increased in decades and the top 1% getting most of the money, it can be hard to show the benefits of education to young people. With that being said, societies keep getting more complex and getting an education will be more and more necessary to have job security. For instance, in “Canada in 2009, 82% of the adult population aged 25 to 64 with a tertiary education were employed, compared with 55% of this age group with less than high school education“.  This is why we should focus on education as a society, with good policies that encourage teenagers and young adults to get educated.

On top of this, from a societal perspective, when the population is well educated, the people are richer, the city is better maintained, the population is healthier, the infrastructure is better, people pay attention to politics more, etc. The benefits are endless and it is up to us to make sure we put emphasis on education in our community, for the well-being of the future generations.

To finish this post, I’d like to share the list of all the best paid jobs at the moment. I think all parents should encourage their kids to do something that they love, but also to aim for a job that will give them a good pay check. Life’s expensive, and it’s important to make sure teenagers realize this so that they can do what they need to do in order to live a good life. The list contains jobs such as surgeon, physician, air traffic controller, orthodontist, chief executive, etc.

What’s your job? What kind of education did you get? Are you happy doing what you do? Would you like to go back to school? How has education impacted your life? I’d love to hear personal stories, so feel free to share! 🙂

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2016, A New Chapter

new year 2016

Tonight marks the end of the holidays. I am a little bit sad vacations are already over, but very happy on how I spent the last few weeks. I spent a lot of time with my family and friends, I celebrated the end of my bachelor’s degree, I was lucky enough to have four different Christmas dinners with people I love, I moved into an amazing new apartment and I kicked off the new year at an awesome party. I couldn’t have asked for anything more!

As you may have seen on my snapchat (@candidlyjulie), I moved last week during a snow storm into my new apartment. It was quite an exhausting day to say the least! I had never moved before and I expected it to be easy and stress-free but boy was I wrong. It’s a lot more planning than I thought and the actual moving day is very demanding mentally and physically. I couldn’t wait to go to bed that night! Now that I have moved, I have to say that it does feel a little strange to be living in a brand new apartment and neighbourhood after spending four years in my last place. During the past few years, my place downtown Montreal really felt like home so now I need to adapt to this new chapter of my life. The fact that I’m also starting my master’s degree tomorrow enhances this feeling and makes it all seems surreal. It’s very similar to the feeling I get when I am about to leave on vacation, but I don’t believe it until I’m sitting in the plane. I think I’ll have to be sitting in class to really feel like all of these changes are happening.

All in all, I am sure 2016 will bring a lot of new challenges. Today I had an interesting conversation with my boyfriend when we went for brunch. We talked about life goals and positive thinking. My argument was that when you have a general idea of where you want to end up in life and always keep it in the back of your mind, it is very likely it will happen. Although Xavier was not as optimistic as me, we did agree that positive thinking definitely helps. I think that when you have a goal, as general as it may be, all the decisions that you take will be aligned with that goal whether you realize it or not. Therefore, in 2016, I will continue to keep this general goal of mine in the back of my head and put my heart and mind into things that are aligned with it and that make me happy. I believe resolutions are good all year round, but reminding ourselves of something important like this is a good exercise at the beginning of a new year.

I wish you all a happy new year – health, happiness and lots of accomplishments!

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Paris, Ville Lumière

beautiful paris

Aujourd’hui, je suis triste. Triste pour notre humanité qui vient d’être attaquée, mais surtout triste pour les gens affectés par cette tragédie à Paris. Paris, c’est l’une de mes villes préférées. J’y ai passé une semaine lors de mon anniversaire pour mes 18 ans avec ma mère et chaque fois que j’y pense, j’ai ces beaux souvenirs qui me reviennent en tête.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. Voici la devise de la République française. Pourquoi est-il si difficile d’atteindre ces principes qui ont l’air si simples? Pourquoi certaines personnes sont incapables de vivre et de laisser vivre?

Je me tourne vers le futur et je ressens une certaine inquiétude face aux défis sociaux et politiques auxquels nous faisons face. Toutefois, je ressens aussi de l’espoir. À voir la communauté internationale réagir sur les réseaux sociaux, j’ai de l’espoir que l’amour, la paix sociale et l’ouverture d’esprit vont l’emporter. Il est triste de penser qu’il faut des évènements d’une telle atrocité pour amener du changement, mais c’est souvent le cas. Alors j’espère que cet événement amènera du changement pour le mieux. Que la communauté internationale va se serrer les coudes pour mettre fin une fois pour toute à ces attaques insensées.

Il y a longtemps que j’ai écrit en français sur mon blog, mais aujourd’hui, par respect pour ce peuple, je me devais de le faire. Je suis fière d’être québécoise et d’avoir un héritage français et aujourd’hui, je suis de tout cœur avec eux.

Paris est et restera la ville lumière, peu importe ce que ces barbares peuvent bien y faire. Malgré cette tragédie, lorsque je penserai à cette ville, je continuerai de penser à ces beaux souvenirs que j’ai. La terreur ne l’emportera pas.

Paris, je t’aime.

Today, I am sad. Sad for our humanity that was attacked last night, but especially sad for all those affected by this tragedy in Paris. Paris is one of my favorite cities. I spent a week there for my 18th birthday with my mom, and whenever I think about it, all those wonderful souvenirs come back to me.

Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (Freedom, Equality, Fraternity). This is the national motto of France. Why is it so hard to reach those principles that seem so simple?  Why can’t some people live and let live?

When I think about our future, I feel a certain uncertainty about all those social and political challenges our world faces. However, I also have hope. When I see the beautiful messages all over social media coming from the four corners of our planet, I have hope that love, peace and open-mindedness will win over all this hate. It is sad to think that often, events of such atrocity have to happen to bring change, but I do hope this event will indeed bring change for the better. I hope the international community will come together to stop these awful attacks.

It’s been a long time since I wrote in both French and English on my blog, but I felt that I had to in respect for the French people. I am proud to be a Quebecer and to have a French heritage and today, my heart is with all of them.

Paris is and will remain the City of Light, no matter what those barbarians do. Despite this tragedy, whenever I will think about Paris in the future, I will continue to think about those great souvenirs I have. Terror will not win.

Paris, je t’aime.

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