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School Sucks. Keep Trying.

Portrait of a young high school student bored and frustrated with his head down on his deskFor some reason, I know that the Battle of Hastings was in 1066 A.D.  Why that particular piece of arcana has remained with me since high school I have no idea.  Like a lot of the things I learned in high school, it has not added to my life one bit.  It’s true, high school teaches us a lot of things that we will never use in our lives, and chances are you are going to forget a significant portion of what you learn in high school.

So what’s the point?  Why do we go to school at all?  Sure, it fills the gap in your education continuum between drooling on your Sponge Bob bib and heading off to college.  And we all have already heard the data about your odds in life being dramatically improved with a good education, blah blah blah.  So what?  Maybe you’re not going to college.  Maybe you don’t care about your grades for whatever reason.  Why make the effort?

School is doing more for you than cramming useless information into your head.  There are reasons to do well in school other than remembering facts that don’t contribute to your life in any noticeable way.  Here are six of the most important.

IMG_4137-1You show that you can finish, and finish well.  If you don’t like school, don’t worry, you’re not the oddball.  Not that many people like high school – at least the part where you go from class to class, fighting off fatigue and boredom.  I might go so far to say that you’re not expected to enjoy it.  Which is important, because if you finish high school, you have demonstrated that you can not only finish, but finish something that you don’t enjoy.  Imagine the message you send if you not only finish, but finish having done well.  Employers know that they will give you tasks that may not be exciting, but need to be done.  They want to know you’ll finish, and do a great job at it.




Closeup portrait business man thinking about something, finger on lips looking for solution of problem isolated black background. Emotion facial expression reaction, situation perception body languageYou get smarter.  Did you just say “duh”?  Hey, I’m not talking about accumulating facts and figures.  The process of learning – repetition and learning new information – open neuropathways in your brain.  The more of those pathways that are created, the more capacity you develop.  This translates to a competitive advantage, whether it’s at work or on the court.  The more and faster you can process information, analyze it, and make decisions, the better you’ll do.

You develop discipline.  Let’s face it, you won’t do well in school unless you develop certain disciplines – disciplines like time management, focusing, planning, and organization.  These are skills that will serve you well throughout your life no matter what job you get – even if that job is in the NBA.  Take the opportunity while you’re in school to develop discipline.

Toqaun competeingYou can beat your friends.  If you consider yourself to be competitive, I know you love showing your friends up on the court or on the field.  Why doesn’t that same mentality translate to your grades?  There are lots of athletes who also get good grades. What have they got that you haven’t got?  If you really consider yourself to be a competitive person, don’t let yourself get blown out.

You represent yourself better.  If you show up at school, you almost have to try not to learn some basics about how you represent yourself.  Things like speaking well, writing coherently, and reading efficiently are skills that no one will notice in your life unless you don’t have them.  In almost any kind of job you get, the better you can communicate, the further you’ll go.



iStock_000072854725_Full-2You feel better about yourself.  We are always looking for reasons to do things that get us something or demonstrate something.  But one of the most important reasons to do something well is for yourself – for your own sense of accomplishment, self-worth, and integrity.  It’s that quality that allows you to look in the mirror and honestly tell yourself that you’ve done your best.  It may not seem like much, but really, it’s everything.

You’ll never be in a better place than in high school to finish and finish well.  The information is being presented to you, and you are told exactly what is required of you.  If you drop out of high school, and later decide you want to finish that education, you’re going to wish you had done it when it was being fed to you.  You’re there, so why not use the time to do well?

Incidentally, the Battle of Hastings was won not only from brute force, but from experience and strategy as well.  Don’t count on one advantage to get you through the battle.  Accumulate advantages in your life so you have several tools in your belt to achieve the life you expect and deserve.



March 21, 2016 | News | 0

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