My wife Amy and I watch our fair share of HGTV and any number of other networks that broadcast real estate programming. For several years, Amy was a real estate agent and both of us enjoy following the real estate market and the processes and products that make for home improvement (my neighbors don’t believe that–there’s a pile of sand in my front yard right now leftover from a project in the backyard. I’ll move it…soon).
In real estate shows there is often that moment when a realtor or a prospective home buyer lifts up a corner of carpet and exclaims, “LOOK! Hardwood floors!” They’ve hit the flooring jackpot. Some owner from decades ago had the foresight to lay down the most timeless, most sturdy, most aethetically-pleasing (as long as you use a reasonable stain color) surface. My floor guy, Greg Schmidt, tells me that most hardwood floors should last at least 100 years.
How is a Loyola education like hardwood floors? Well, it’s worth the investment. It’s timeless and will always have profound purpose–we teach critical thinking, adaptability, sustainability, justice, leadership, writing, all within complex networks of interdisciplinary philosophies.
Imagine your resume in the future. As those who look at it peer beneath your co-curricular and work experiences, your objectives and interests (See those as carpet. Very nice carpet, I’m sure), when they see that Loyola degree they are going to know yours is a great foundation, built to last and built to compete in the marketplace year after year after year. Your degree will grow in value and because it taught you not just how to work but how to live, others will benefit for many years to come from your investment as well.
What NEVER happens on these real estate shows is this:
“LOOK! Vinyl tile! This is great. My goodness, they must have saved a fortune by installing that! That wasn’t too much trouble to put down, I bet.”
If you are at all like me, you become nervous with the easier option. You know that settling for the inexpensive route to a degree is NEVER the answer. You have choices, especially since we work so very hard to make a Loyola education more affordable for hundreds of students each year. For them, the best choice is the Catholic, Jesuit choice. The best choice is the lifelong learning choice. The best choice is the creative, don’t-put-me-in-a-box-I-am-filled-with self-expression choice. And it’s within reach.
And so, if you share my point of view on this–that a GREAT education is a life-long investment–my advice is unwavering: choose wood.