This past Thanksgiving, I reflected on how we should all be thankful for the people in our lives and the blessings we’ve been given. One additional thing I wanted to talk about is being thankful for education and the different forms it takes. Not all, or even the most relevant, education comes exclusively from the classroom. There are many important, valuable lessons I learned outside the classroom that have become far more critical to my life as an author, small business owner, and attorney.
In high school at Mount Saint Charles Academy, I had incredible teachers and learned a lot in the classroom. In particular, I took all the business classes they offered, and I ended up being awarded “Business Student of the Year” during my senior year. However, I learned far more about people, management, and business leadership in being a business owner working at the Northeast pizza chain Papa Gino’s. The things I learned help me to this day as a small business owner, including business processes, client satisfaction, and providing value to the experience and not just the quality of what is being served.
In college and law school at Hofstra University, I also had excellent professors and courses, but I learned more about volunteer leadership, writing, and editing on-campus publications like The Chronicle, Conscience, and the college humor magazine Nonsense, and even an independent publication I helped start in my senior year called The Transcript. While I did have good writing courses at Hofstra, I would not have been capable of writing ten books and having them published on Amazon if it weren’t for these campus publications.
Yes, education is important, and we should be thankful for all of the hard work teachers put forth to expand our horizons, but don’t underestimate just how important lessons and skills learned outside the classroom can be to the future.