Would you mind taking this quick survey about your experiences in school and how you feel it has affected you? Academia Revolution is collecting stories to help explain to people how school can be a toxic environment.
Don't let school waste your timeSchool wastes your free time so you'll get used to your boss doing the same thing one day.
6 hours a day of work without pay. In fact, your parents have to pay for that "privilege". Sure, many years ago you learnt to read and write in those hours... but that was many years ago. What do you learn now? You learn to memorize whatever they tell you. You learn to do whatever they tell you. You learn to understand whatever they want you to, whichever way they want. They disguise it nicely under different subjects with lots of things you have to remember. Sometimes they let you give your own answer to something, but they always have the last say as to whether it's "right" or "wrong". They say you learn it all so that you can cope better in the world out there.
You don't learn it so you can cope better out there, you learn it so that you'll get used to doing whatever you're told without asking too many questions (so that your boss will like you). Doing whatever you're told might be the easy way, but do you really want to be "just another worker in the herd"?
I know I don't. I will never be anybody's "underdog", so what I learn in school doesn't really have much purpose to me. "You have to work to survive" they'll tell me. Sure I'll work. All I said is that I will not allow anyone to consider me their underdog. If the "boss" gives me shit, I give him shit back. If he fires me, too bad, I would have quit anyway. I don't have to work in someplace if I'm unhappy... why should I punish myself like that?
Take time to think about who you are, who you want to be, and what really matters to you. Don't let anyone else make those decisions for you. You're in control of your own life. Nobody else is. Some people (those who think they've got authority) might say they've got control over your life or future, but they don't. They can try to influence you, but unless they totally brainwash you they'll never have control over your life. You decide who you are. You decide what's important to you. You decide who's allowed to infuence you or not. You decide what your real education is.
Update: 15 May 2009
More than 10 years later, I still totally agree with this. In fact, I want to add something I didn't even know about back when I wrote this: there's a lot more to life than jobs. In school they always talk about doing this stuff, then going to college, then getting a "good job"... well guess what? You can make your own job. I didn't even think of that back then, and ironically, I am now living off of ad revenue from this website (and a few others). There really are infinite possibilities, limited only by your own imagination. Don't let anyone scare you into believing that the normal way is the only "safe" way. There is no safe way. You can lose your job just as easily as ad revenue can dry up for whatever unforeseen reason. Make the most of what you have while you have it, don't get too comfortable... always prepare as well as you can but don't let it ruin your enjoyment of life. You only live once. (Unless reincarnation is true, that is).
Written by: SoulRiser
14 April 1999