Is going to school worth it
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School is worth it, but the education system is by no means perfect. Students benefit from school by being exposed to study fields they would have otherwise ignored, engaging in intellectual and social interactions, learning how to think and articulate ideas, and increasing job marketability. Of course, the answer to whether or not school is worth it can be somewhat controversial because it is largely subjective. Ultimately, every student deals with their own individual set of personal circumstances.
But, in truth, you are the only one who knows how beneficial attending school is to your long-term aspirations. Therefore, we will discuss these different pros and cons in the following sections. The law requires that every child must attend school up until 16 years old.
In some states, this minimum age requirement is even older source. As a student, it can sometimes be difficult to see why you even have to attend school in the first place. Admittedly, I struggled to grasp why school was so important throughout my adolescent and teenage years. It was only later that I was eventually able to step back and see how my years in school were worth it. For one, the foundational curriculum taught in schools across the nation forces students to become intimately familiar with a wide array of disciplines.
Contrary to popular opinion, these fields of study are not just limited to basic math, science, language arts, and social studies. Oftentimes, other specialized fields of study are covered as well, such as:. In truth, very few students would have the personal initiative and self-discipline to learn about these subjects independently without school. The school curriculum forces students to branch out of their comfort zone and get in touch with subject areas where undiscovered passions lie.
Not only was I a mediocre writer, but the writing process always seemed to be a long, frustrating experience for me. Fortunately, as I continued to write essays throughout high school and college, I steadily progressed and found that writing was a hidden passion of mine.
If not for school, I certainly would not be here writing for this website! Another worthwhile benefit of school is that it promotes student-to-student interactions in both intellectual and social contexts. Students must work together often to collaborate on group assignments, projects, and presentations. Through trial and error, students learn valuable lessons on interacting with others effectively to accomplish a specific task.
These experiences are precious because they carry over to the demands of the real world. Outside of school, young students do not typically engage in this kind of intellectual conversation because it can be somewhat off-putting. Peer interactions in school do not only revolve around education, however. It often goes overlooked, but the vast majority of students build their social network through their classes.
They meet acquaintances, long-term friends, and even romantic partners as a result of school. Oftentimes, students neglect this fact because they focus entirely on the negative aspects of education. These peer interactions—both intellectual and social—are vital, especially for younger students. In other words, the interactions students have in school play a critical role in their overall growth from child to adult. In the absence of school, students would be robbed of many of these constructive interactions.
In addition, school teaches us how to analyze problems, propose solutions, and express our thoughts in an understandable manner. It can be relatively easy to dismiss the required assignments, projects, and tests as useless when taken in a specific context. Why use long division when you can use a calculator, right?
For example, while many students may not plan to analyze literary themes beyond English class, the ideas expressed through these papers allow them to be more concise and descriptive with their arguments. It is imperative to know how to define your perspectives and articulate them to others with real-life conflicts.
Of course, that is just one example. There are many others as well. For instance, solving physics equations teaches students to see problems from multiple angles and effectively use available information, regardless of how limited it may be. Moreover, learning about historical figures that died centuries ago may seem pointless now. Still, you can learn valuable lessons from these esteemed individuals that can allow you better define your own identity.
So rather than taking the concepts taught in school in a specific context, see them in a general context. Devoting the time to learn these concepts is not always easy, but it is only at the bounds of our mental capacity that we can grow and develop. Although it can be hard to see the bigger picture now, getting a solid education has a tremendous impact on your self-marketability to future employers and skill sets needed for particular jobs.
For many jobs, a degree is needed to get your foot in the door. Unfortunately, the workforce can be extremely competitive, particularly for high-paying, specialized fields.
Like it or not, the first aspect of your job application that employers look at is your education level. As aforementioned, the schooling system is not flawless. The federal government could improve specific aspects of the education system to make the educational experience more worthwhile for students, from kindergarten to university. We will explore the most prominent of these flaws below. The biggest counterargument against the practicality of school is the lack of personalized education.
Not every student aims to pursue the same goals in life after school. Yet, for the most part, the schooling system treats students as if they do. Consequently, students learn a considerable amount of knowledge that they may never use beyond the classroom.
Still, students spend a significant number of hours learning about such subjects. For this reason, students are forced to be knowledgeable about a wide assortment of facts and skills that they may never use again. Honestly, if you asked the younger, more naive version of myself if writing was important, I would have adamantly denied that it would play any role in my future. Little did I know how wrong I was! On the flip side, school also fails to address several key life skills that everybody needs beyond school, like:.
Sadly, students often must learn these concepts on their own through experience. As a result, they often make mistakes along the way and realize them far too late. The schooling system tends to emphasize certain kinds of intelligence over others. Researchers separate intelligence into five distinct classifications source :. Oftentimes, general, practical, and analytical intelligence take precedence over emotional and creative intelligence.
Instructors prefer to test students based on their ability to recall information, evaluate problems, and present solutions professionally. Unfortunately, these testing formats do not cover the five different areas of intelligence equally. As a result, they fall victim to the false notion that general, analytic, and practical intelligence are the only forms of worthwhile intelligence.
Sadly, students who are talented in emotional and creative intelligence often have few opportunities to show off these strengths in school. Consequently, these students often believe their intellectual capability to be lesser than it is, leading to further academic problems down the road. As aforementioned, you are legally required to devote thousands of hours to academics over the course of your lifetime. While school certainly has its benefits, you should not discount that these hours detract from other pursuits, interests, and hobbies.
You only have so much time during the day to do what is you want to do. Sadly, the hefty time commitment of school can discourage students from pursuing their passions. Under some circumstances, it may even cause students to abandon some passions entirely. For example, I myself almost abandoned the notion of creating this website due to the rigorous demands of dental school.
Fortunately, I was able to uncover ways to manage my time better and stick with it. Unfortunately, though, my story is not representative of every student out there. Too often, students sacrifice their personal interests in favor of academic responsibilities.
Last but certainly not least, students that go on to higher education often must take on a colossal amount of debt to do so.
This financial debt poses a serious risk to students, particularly if things do not work out as planned. Earning a degree does not necessarily guarantee a high-paying job. This likelihood often goes understated by school institutions. Instead, they like to push the narrative that the more education you receive, the better off you will be long-term. Unfortunately, this is not always true for some college graduates.
Remember, not all degrees are created equal. Some degrees are better at yielding employment success than others. Below, you will find evidence for the discrepancies in unemployment rates among college degrees source :.
You will need a job after college to pay off your loans at the end of the day. Depending on your degree, school may or may not be worth it to eliminate this debt and set yourself up for a stable living. In summary, the question of whether school is worth it or not can only be answered by you. If additional schooling is needed for you to reach your long-term aspirations, go for it!
But, conversely, if what you aim to do in the future does not require higher levels of education, you may want to take some extra time to reassess the value of additional school. School will not always seem like a practical use of your time. At some point, every student second-guesses the applicability of school to real life. Remember, though, that improving your education never hurts. The more knowledge and skills you accrue over time, the better you will handle whatever life throws at you.
Considering that you asked whether or not school is worth it, this may not be the answer you wanted to hear. Sources: 1 2 3 4 5.
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These peer interactions—both intellectual and social—are vital, especially for younger students.