I’ve come to think the readers will save the world.
During and after formal schooling, by choice or necessity, people may compartmentalize learning, or integrate it into their ongoing experience. Some sculpt the boundaries of what they will or will not learn by what a job requires; what interests them, or what they can study while keeping up their keg party schedule. They may at some point be emptied of all their schooling could support of the intellectual life—or not, since limit-setting in one dimension may conversely allow depth in another.
One graduate may have to leave a fascinating project to work to pay the rent. Another’s work and studies may dovetail nicely. A third may combine work in one area with research in another. Some resume schooling, others read widely or study less formally, some stagnate and sour on life. Any one of these could be a valid use of education (well, maybe not the last, so much…).
Reading, thinking, and applying ones education to ones life, hoping to make sense of what one has learned, is an ongoing task. Whatever trajectory that life takes, growth in response to challenges inform and fulfill it, enhancing learning and feeding the ongoing dynamics of discovery, intentional generosity, and deliberate kindness in human interaction.
Nearly forty years after receiving my undergraduate degree, I hope I’m still learning.