There are a lot of criticisms for education, including that students won’t remember what they learned as soon as they place their pencils down after writing their last exam.
I remember a lot of things about all my years of schooling, to the point where it seems like I’m the only one who remembered what happened.
Do I use most of what I learned academically on a day to day basis? Other than the journalism related stuff from university and college, no.
However, I still remember many of the lessons I learned as a student all too clearly, even if most of them weren’t in the curriculum.
Elementary (Kindergarten-Grade 8)
I haven’t been involved with you for a decade, but as weird as this sounds, you prepared me for the “post-school world” the most.
You taught me that some people can be terrible. You taught me that some people will make it clear they don’t want to help you, even if you obviously need it.
You taught me that the world is full of grumpy people who don’t like change.
Thanks to you, I’ve learned that it’s OK to be on my own because some nights I am my own best friend.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to channel everything that bothers me through creativity. You taught me that I should always be surrounded with storytelling.
High school (Grade Nine to Grade 12)
Some of my best days were with you, though I couldn’t wait to be away from you some days.
You taught me to take risks; try out for badminton even though you’re not an athlete. travel to the states with your club even though it’ll be your first time out of the country. Wear devil horns to a high school dance when it’s not Halloween. Take drama classes and perform in the choir, even though public speaking makes you nervous. Apply to university, cause even if you don’t get in, at least you tried.
I’ve learned that there is such a thing as thinking too far ahead.
Thanks to you, I’ve learned that it may take a long time to find your true friends, but it’s worth figuring out.
I also learned that some things don’t turn out as planned, for better or worse.
Most importantly, I learned that you don’t need to agree with what everyone else says, just because it’s the majority.
Post-Secondary (4-year degree and 2-year college diploma)
I was going to separate you two, but my time spent with you went by so fast that it made sense to me to include you two together.
You taught me that it’s easy to sink, but redemption is always possible. You taught me that it’s all too easy to spend too much money on food, no matter how much you crave breakfast sandwiches and hash browns.
I’ve learned true friends will always find a way back to you. I’ve learned that nothing is permanent. I’ve learned that it’s important to be multi-talented. However, it’s just as important to stick to your niche.
Most importantly, I’ve learned to hustle and work hard, but sometimes playing harder is just as important.
Sometimes, I wonder if I should have taken a different path for my educational journey, but then I feel thankful for the lessons I’ve learned, and I realize I don’t regret anything.
Well, except for that Crocs with socks in the winter phase I went through in Grade Nine. That I regret.