Much More than the Classes

By Hannah Smothers on September 07, 2013
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It’s really easy while you’re in high school to put your blinders on and focus only on walking across the stage at graduation, whether you’re a freshman on the first day of school or a senior taking your last final exam.

This may seem like a wonderful idea at first. With your blinders protecting you from the distractions that go hand-in-hand with high school, you’re sure to carve the most efficient pathway possible.

But did you ever stop and think about the possibility that maybe those distractions could be teaching you more valuable information than you’re learning in your biology class? Not to say that the class work, homework and tests aren’t extremely important (because they are), but high school is about much more than the classes listed on your schedule.

Life lessons

Teachers are constantly telling you that high school is meant to prepare you for college and for the real world, and most of you will laugh this off. I know I did.

I would say things such as: “They’re not going to care if I show up to class in college,” and, “When am I ever going to use pre-calculus in the real world?”

The truth is, unless you plan on going into engineering, you probably won’t use pre-calculus ever again. But I was focusing on the big picture instead of the small one.

The people you meet in high school, and not just your best friends but every single person you meet in high school, teaches you a little bit about the real world and a little bit about yourself.

You’ll find that you get along well with certain classmates and can’t stand others. You’ll find that you learn well from certain teachers, and have to attend hours of tutoring to understand a simple lesson from some. You’ll find that you have no problem taking direction from certain authority figures and can’t seem to take others seriously.

And when it finally comes to be graduation day, you’ll hug your friends goodbye and thank your stars that you’ll never have to see certain people again, or so you think.

While you may never again be forced to take direction from the coach that was always unfair to you, I promise you’ll encounter someone else exactly like that coach in the future. Only now, you’ll be better prepared to deal with them.

My challenge to you

So I have a challenge to issue to each and every one of you. Next time your teacher gives a lesson you don’t understand and doesn’t give you the answers you’re searching for, don’t mumble something about her job under your breath, try and think of a way you can actually get through to her.

Try a different approach. Maybe speak with her one-on-one and find a learning style that works best for the two of you. Who knows, maybe you’ll actually learn something.

High school is a great opportunity, not only to learn useful things such as advanced calculus and pre-Colombian American history, but to learn how to deal with the various personalities you’re going to be faced with for the rest of your life. I promise, if you don’t learn how to cope with challenging people now, it’s only going to become more difficult as you grow older.

I went though four years as a high school student with my blinders on. I was convinced that difficult people only existed within the walls of my school and outside everything was fair and everyone acted as adults.

Anyone who has graduated and experienced the outside world will tell you this is not so. We may not all grow up to be biologists or engineers or English teachers, but we are all going to grow up to be functioning people in society, so I suggest becoming an expert on the subject while you have the opportunity.

You may not receive a grade on personal skills on your report card, but it could be the most important test you’ll ever study for.


About the Author

Hannah Smothers

Hannah Smothers

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