Tara Westover’s Educational Journey at Cambridge Essay Example


How can the value of education directly affect one’s perspective of the world? Gaining insight into the very nature of other cultures can impact your life. Educational opportunities might be one of the most substantial successes in learning that is available today. Students that have learning foundations in education can be influenced through high school, college, and trips abroad. Tara Westover’s educational journey at Cambridge shaped her life and her future immensely. Education is significant in establishing a basis for learning through opportunities for success, personal growth, and cultural awareness. 

Education’s positive influence on Tara Westover’s life can be displayed through her opportunities for success. During the time Tara was attending Cambridge, she was paired with Professor Steinberg, who helped guide her in her studies. They continued to meet each week and after reading the essay that Professor Steinberg encouraged Tara to write on the differentiation between the persona written within The Federalist Papers, Tara says, “At my next supervision, Professor Steinberg said that when I applied for graduate school, he would make sure I was accepted to whatever institution I chose” (Westover 41).  She is stunned and in awe of the kindness he displayed in using his title to help her gain another educational opportunity. Professor Steinberg guarantees Tara’s educational future to whichever graduate school she chooses because he sees the determination and hard work that she possesses. Tara’s education at Cambridge and work ethic seem to open doors for her educational success. Powerful people are beginning to see her potential through the lens of education, which leads them to support her by giving her opportunities for success. Similarly, as influential people begin to give her opportunities, she starts to grow personally.

Through her many studies and learning opportunities, Tara Westover achieves personal growth. During her time at Cambridge, Tara begins to read books on feminism,  describing them by saying,  “Never had I found such comfort in a void, in the black absence of knowledge” (Westover 46). At home, she was never allowed to read books that were not of her Mormon religion or God; Tara would have never been able to read a book about feminism.  She now turns to feminism, and, because of her education, she finds a new purpose in the comfort of her studies. Education has opened up new ways for her to see growth in who she is and who she can become. Tara is discovering concrete ideas that signify how she has always felt her entire life. These books on feminism give Tara confidence in the connection between both her feelings, her personal life, and her education. She has gained confidence, assurance, and peace through these ideals, that she never had before arriving at Cambridge. She has spent her whole life being confused about women’s abilities and rights; attending Cambridge has shown Tara this new perspective on life that has shaped her growth personally. 

By establishing a basis of learning, Tara Westover is taught the value of cultural awareness. Inspired by a large number of influences on feminism at her college, Tara goes to the library to read some books to research saying, “I read through the afternoon and into the evening, developing for the first time a vocabulary for the uneasiness that I’d felt since childhood” (Westover 46). Tara is in class with many students who have already heard about feminism, yet she never has. To gain an idea of this unfamiliar concept, she goes to study this idea through reading. She finds out quickly, the extreme levels of feminism during the first wave of influence and decides she would rather read about the second wave. Tara’s eyes are opened to the feminist writings of Simone de Beauvoir, Betty Friedan, and John Stuart Mill. Being in a class where she is the only student who has never heard of this idea and must take on the time to do outside of class research, shows that not only is she determined to be a wonderful student, but that she cares about learning. Her abnormal lifestyle is revealed in her huge life change by going to Cambridge and being placed in a “normal” society. Tara becomes culturally aware that her Mormon lifestyle has hindered her view of the world and is now seeing the world she has always missed out on and wanted. 

Based upon the success of education, it can be implied that the basis of learning is incredibly significant in establishing a foundation of education through opportunities for success, personal growth, and cultural awareness. The opportunity of attending Cambridge and the impact of the world around her led Tara to become educated in the things she would never have had the chance to if she did not value her education. People like her classmates and Professor Steinberg pushed her to be the best that she could be. Her personal growth and view of the world were formed through her educational opportunities. Education’s foundation is valued, not just in learning, but personal growth as well.

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