By Theresa Genova, director, Columbia College-San Luis Obispo

If you have not read the poem “The Dash,” by Linda Ellis, do yourself a favor and take the time from your day to Google it. You will find it to be quite motivational. It is a quick read and the message is simple.

We are born and eventually we die. When we die, someone we love marks those dates on our gravestone and separates them with a dash. The dates themselves are significantly less important than the dash between them, as it is the dash that represents not when we lived, but rather, how we lived. The poem begs the question, “What will you do with your dash?”

You might be wondering what this has to do with your education, right? Your education is a gift you give to yourself and others, as it prepares you to use your dash to make a positive impact on the world. Among many other outcomes, your education may help you to move into a management/leadership position where you have a positive impact, increase your credibility and hence your power to persuade, or serve as an inspiration to others who have not yet made the commitment to complete their degrees. Whatever the impact of your education, it is and always will be an important part of your dash.

Theresa Genova, San Luis Obispo
Theresa Genova, director, Columbia College-San Luis Obispo

Whether you are just starting your education, are somewhere in the middle or nearing the end of your degree, remember that with education comes opportunity. Stay focused, complete your degree, maximize the opportunities that come your way, and use your education to create opportunities that otherwise may not have been possible. Ensure that your dash makes a difference!

If you recently completed your degree or will be graduating soon, consider the footprints you will leave behind at Columbia College and the impact the college has had on your dash. Go out into the world and show others what Columbia College graduates are capable of! Speak proudly of your alma mater and help others find the opportunity you found when your success story with Columbia College began.

When you are ready to earn your graduate degree, consider Columbia College. Like our undergraduate programs, our online master’s programs will serve you well in your career and in life. If you have any questions at all about pursuing a graduate degree, please do not hesitate to call or contact me via email – to add to your dash. I feel privileged to be in a position which allows me to assist you with continuing your education – that will be part of my dash. I wish you all the best as you identify what you will do with your dash. Happy New Year!