Today I wanted to discuss a topic that’s been on my mind as we begin this new school year. Our education here in the USA may have its faults, but I am so grateful to be able to learn the things that I do in school and get the experience of going to a wonderful public school and getting involved in activities through the programs it offers. I figured I could explain how big of a part school has always been in my life and why we should all value the educational opportunities offered to us.
One of the main reasons the academic aspect of school has always been so important to me is because until I started high school, I really didn’t have any extracurricular activities. When I was younger I dabbled in many sports, art, even cooking classes, etc., but nothing ever stuck. I didn’t want to continue doing anything I didn’t like, so I didn’t continue with any of the activities I attempted. The main things I did in my free time were read, write, and spend time online reading articles or watching videos. My whole life when I was little was basically going to school and then hanging out with friends and family.
I absolutely LOVE reading, but I used to do it way more often. I learned to read before I was three, and I would devour books- my personal collection spanned half of an entire wall full of shelves when I was younger; now it’s reduced to three small shelves in my room. I ran out of time and became more interested in spending time with friends once I entered middle school, but my love of reading definitely shaped my perspective on a lot of things as a young child. However, I was able to continue connecting with literature inside of school, as middle school was when we started really jumping into reading full books in English class. Now reading different books in English class is probably my favorite thing out of anything we do in high school classes, since we actually read really good books and some of the classics.
I always placed a lot of importance on my grades, since they were my only way to show some form of achievement; I still wasn’t in activities and I cared a lot about school, so I felt a lot of pressure to excel. Looking back there was no reason to stress so much over middle school classes, but I’m glad that I at least set good habits for myself before going to high school. I always performed well fairly naturally on state-testing and whatever else in early elementary school, but in fifth grade I had to start studying and putting genuine effort into what I did. In middle school I was definitely a bit of a try-hard (again, only with actual academics, not activities); I didn’t choose to try testing into skipping two years of math, but I tested into skipping one year. I took all the honors classes that were available in middle school, and I worked hard to do well in them.
I got my first B on a report card in seventh grade honors English- I was devastated, but not surprised since I didn’t like my teacher and she was known for being a difficult grader. This was a huge blow to my self-esteem- yes, I knew that it didn’t matter that much, and I knew that I couldn’t expect perfection from myself all the time, but I still was very disappointed. If I wasn’t involved in anything outside of school and had all the time in the world to study and such, why couldn’t I have done something more to improve that grade? The next grading period I also got a B in that class, but by the end of the year I worked up to an A; that was one of the best feelings to know that my hard work had paid off.
I complain about the stress of school a lot, but I put pretty much all of it onto myself. School has clearly always been my top priority in life, and I’ve always been driven to work hard while I’m there. When it comes down to it, I think I like the feeling of being challenged and working hard to see the results of (hopefully) good grades. I also enjoy learning a lot; I find something that’s interesting to me about almost every class and subject (looking at you, ninth grade honors biology), and I continue to see concepts from school in everyday life as I grow older. This is the reason I value education so much: because I love to learn, I love to know that I’m growing as a person, and I actually like working hard.
It’s important that we appreciate school and all the teachers/mentors in our lives; you all may have different stories about what education means to you, but the bottom line is that there’s some significance there for everyone. Whether it’s about the activities, academics, the friends you meet there, or just the overall experience, there’s something to appreciate no matter what your interests are. We should all spend some time reflecting on what our school experiences have done for us as far as personal growth in our lives so far; it’s a great thing to consider as we enter this new school year and prepare ourselves to grow more!
I hope this gave you guys some more insight on my relationship with school and academics, as well as helping some of you reflect on your personal experiences with education. Something tells me this school year is going to be amazing- let’s all soak up as much knowledge as we can and make the most of everyday. I’m always here to answer questions and take requests for future content- keep an eye out for new posts!