why school is not the worst by juliana johnson

May 2, 2019


As we come into the final quarter of the year, many of us may be excited and counting down the days till summer, or for the seniors, graduation. What they say about senioritis is true, except for the fact that it can totally happen junior year. Matter of fact, make that sophomore and even freshmen year if you are one of those people that really does not appreciate what these four most substantial years of our lives have to offer. At least that’s what we are told, the most awkward stages of your life sprinkled in with due dates and no sleep. Yes, these are the days we are supposed to look back and reflect on how wonderful and influential they were. But tell me, how I am supposed to do that when all I’ve retained is the mitochondria being the powerhouse of the cell, which upon recent discovery isn't even accurate, and how to move from one place to the next like a robot.

“You have so much potential, if only you applied yourself”, this summarizes one of the most common themes slapped onto a report card throughout America. What exactly does this even mean? In layman’s term, you do not meet that establishment’s requirement of success. This is one of the first things a school can teach you, success comes from other people's approval. We are taught that a C is average but regarded as the end all be all, “You have a C? How could you let that happen?”. Why does something as simple as a letter bring so much stress and anxiety? Sure, one could argue that it teaches responsibility and general life management skills but do we really need these double standards? A student is rewarded and punished based on meeting the approval and standards of other people rather than their own. We join all the cool clubs, participate in sports and theater, and score high on a standardized test that doesn’t even test our knowledge on majority of the information we’re force fed in high school. All of this to get a piece of paper with some scribbles on it recognizing we were in that building for four years and weren't a complete disappointment. Why would anyone want to go through this?


There’s more to school than what I described above, though to anyone going through school now, it probably sounds like a perfect summary. In the moment it may seem like a drag, the hallways may smell odd and your grades may seem a little too “average” but there are some other things that we will subconsciously take with us afterwards besides the hard times. You may think all there was to school was being the best of the best but you would be wrong. Teachers aren’t there to boss you around and give you difficult workloads. They aren’t there just to critique your every mistake and make you do it again and again until it’s right. On the other hand, you might think that they don’t care what you do, and you would be correct. Teachers don’t care WHAT you’re doing. They care WHY you’re doing it. They care enough to make you want to be a more than average student. They care enough to encourage you to participate in anything and everything. To find your niche and get excited contributing to this world we live in. Teachers are the ones to guide us like additional parents in our home away from home. School is where you will learn how to strive for more and expand your ambitions surrounded by those who care.


Simply put, listen to your teachers and trust them. Read in between their lines and discover what other things they are trying to teach you besides synthetic division and shakespeare. There is so much to take away from high school that you were probably unaware they taught you about. High school is one of the most impactful times of your life, but only if you apply yourself.