The Classroom of Life

Hazem, or Zoom as he prefers to be called, is a 15-year-old from Houston, TX. He enjoys fantasy novels, video games and chilling with friends. His favorite subjects are English, Literature and Chemistry. He wants to be an International Lawyer.

Education, Life Experience, beyond school, life lessonsIt is unfortunate how most youth these days have forgotten about the importance of learning from the world, and put their entire focus on what they learn inside the classroom. There is no doubt that the average citizen cannot do without a minimal degree of formal education in today’s modern society. Grand failure does not necessary await those who drop out of high school; however, success is also highly unlikely. That said, I strongly believe the true education one needs for this life lies outside the school campus.
School will teach you countless lessons. It will tell you about the genetic makeup of frogs, the molecular mass of odd organic compounds and dozens of quotes by Mahfouz and Shakespeare. However, school will not teach you compassion, love or integrity. It will teach you their definition and simply tell you that they are important, but it can never show you how much they are. You will learn that you should use them with everyone but unless you experience a situation that tests you, you will never even begin to understand them.
Similarly, school cannot teach you about the world. You will be told Washington DC is the capital of the United States as well as how India and Pakistan used to be one country but were divided, but do you honestly believe you will comprehend this vast planet from some books? I always knew Abuja was the capital of Nigeria and that it is the sixth largest exporter of oil in the world, but I never even began to understand anything about the country, its people or its culture until I met and befriended several Nigerians.
Furthermore, never forget that the fact remains that most standardized tests in the world test your ability in test-taking more than your understanding of the subject. Just because someone has a 2000+ on the SAT, this score does not mean they know their math. It just means they understand SAT math and have the skills to finish in time. Similarly, it is far from uncommon to find A+ students who can barely understand the subject but achieve these scores simply for their ability to memorize and cram.
The bottom point is, so long as you can afford formal education, keep going in it and do your best but never forget that the most important lessons you will learn in this life will not be in the bio lab or the history class, but outside the classroom.

Photo by James Sarmiento on Flickr

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