Three lies we tell kids about education (or at least let them believe):
1) Education is about your future. It is not. Well, yes, it is, but not entirely. It affects your future, but it’s more than that. Education is about your NOW.
Those communication skills you’re learning in English class are what help you convince your parents that you’re ready for the responsibility of a car. That science you study may keep you from killing yourself or someone else on the 4th of July. The history you now know will explain why this year’s Presidential election matters so much. The literature you’re reading is opening your mind to how people work so you can make decisions about the relationships you involve yourself in today. What you learn prepares you for the future, but the future starts now, if you’re paying attention.
2) Education is something someone else does to you. Oh, no. Education is something you do to yourself. Teachers, books, classes, internet, universities . . . these are merely tools for your use.
Don’t accept an education – demand an education. Join the Great Conversation. Find those classic books out there that have changed the world and make them divulge their wisdom to you. Look at your teachers and say, “I need this skill. You can teach it. Do it.” Don’t allow society’s low expectations of teenagers to keep you content with the commonplace – imprisoned in the mundaneness of fashion, celebrity, trends, entertainment. Grab the world by the nape of the neck and say, “You have more for me than this! Hand it over!”
3) Your education is complete when you graduate. Absolutely not. Your education has just begun. You will be learning until the day you die. The amount that you learn . . . the quality of what you learn . . . the way you use what you learn . . . that’s up to you. Learning stuff is a given. A quality education is not. It is a battle -- a victory over lethargy and mediocrity. Fight for it. You deserve it.