Oh boy, YES! Before, during, and after.

One of the things I like to say (possibly more than the fine human beings I surround myself with actually want to hear) is that we should always get an education, if necessary by going to school. Because formal schooling isn’t where the most important learning takes place.

Life is where learning happens. Challenges, mistakes, joys, discoveries, adventures, pitfalls, embarrassing moments, the whole mess. That’s where you learn. Not in some room somewhere listening to someone read from some notes so old the pages curl.

School is where you get credentials society thinks you need. It can sometimes be useful if you enjoy earning money doing something society considers worthwhile. I don’t know for sure though, so don’t quote me on that; I got a law degree and never worked a single day in that field. But then I don’t care what society thinks so I guess it works fine.

Credentials have their place, especially when you’re about to be sliced open by a surgeon, but they do not an education make. It’s only a small part of it, and possibly the most remarkable thing it teaches you is how to game the system so you come out ahead of your peers because everything is relative and what matters isn’t what kind of person you really are but in what position you finish the race in. In my experience, the more insignificant the race, the more important the final tally.

So yes. By all means get some kind of formal schooling and/or credentials if it’s the price to pay to do the work you dream of. Or maybe to stop your parents from nagging you. But please don’t mistake this for an education worth having to live a full life on this lovely little planet.