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The culture of a society influences many aspects of its occupants, one key aspect being the education of its future generations. This is true all over the world, however, the needs of the society differs. If the culture of a society is chiefly materialistic, the education system is generally based on competition and the efforts of individuals. Compared to that of an education system based on the betterment of the society, not just the individual, like a smaller technical school or private college that caters to a niche like the arts, religion, or race. Two other distinct factors that influence a culture`s thought on education would be wage dispersion and density of its population. If a society has little money to contribute towards schooling the general consensus is there is little need for a college education, which is false, there is much to gain with a college education.

I come from a rural Midwestern town and we are a predominately agriculture based society. My family farms for a living, however, my father also has to work a full time job away from the farm to make ends meet. The struggle to get by pushed my parents to attend college to get ahead. My parents tried to instill an importance of furthering my education. It took some time for me to realize how important a degree could be, I had to struggle myself before I could get the nerve to sign my life away. I joke about that a lot, but that is how it feels for most kids. We are a middle class society, our towns are small and job opportunities are few and far between. In fact, most of the students at my school are pursuing an ag degree, so they can work for themselves manage the “old farm” back home.

Location is key where I come from, and there are not many options when it comes to schools. There are several smaller, private religious colleges in my area, but they cater to their own, so if you do not fit into their cookie cutter mold you probably will not gain admission. Which leaves two large four year universities many can`t afford and a handful of community colleges that has to bear the brunt of Iowa`s rural students. I remember my high school graduation, when we were announced we all stated where we wanted to go or where we were accepted to and half of my class was going to one community college and the other half to another small school. Both within an hour from home. I feel like coming from such a small community and having a close knit agrarian culture we have trouble going out of our comfort zones. Said comfort zone meaning leaving home for school even though we have so much to gain from doing so.

Taking these factors into though it is easy to see that we define ourselves by our backgrounds, our social and religious beliefs, and the opportunities available to us. Location and money are the two major factors that helped me decide my future whether I go to school, where, and how much I`m comfortable spending. I decided I would go for it, I would slowly work my way towards vet school. I can offer services to people I`ve dealt with my whole life and I can give back to the community. I can see how these factors that painted my views can do so for a struggling single mother with few options as much as they can for someone privileged. If we aren`t offered the opportunity to learn, how can you expect us to want to get out of our comfort zone and pursue further education. We will never see the investment in our future. Furthermore, it is imperative to break out of the mentality that we are merely products of our environments.

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