In less privileged countries, education is fought for and cherished by those who are denied the right to an education. My peers and I are lucky to be born in a prosperous country full of wealth and opportunity, but often feel like our self-worth is merely dependent on our GPA, grades, and SAT/ACT scores. We are not seen as individuals, but as a number. I believe we need to learn how to separate one’s worth from their academic intelligence. This has led to privileged people demonizing the education system for putting so much stress on our young minds. Although, there is always the feeling of guilt that creeps up on us when we see young inspiring intellects and survivors of a underprivileged and war ridden society such as Malala Yousafzai who started a movement to allow women to attend school and nearly died for the cause. So what now? Are we merely spoiled Americans dissatisfied with sitting in a math class for an hour and a half? Or are we too frustrated with how our education system has labeled us?
For many countries, education is as rare as gold. Education in third-world countries curriculum is often tampered with, restricted to only boys, only for children from wealthy families and so on.
“Nearly 70 million children do not receive an education around the world,” reported The Guardian.
It is amazing that in our modern era we have failed to provide the world’s youth with this basic necessity. Does this make the kids who do not receive a structured education more worldly smart? The line, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” comes to mind but also does it better prepare them for realistic life experiences compared to a modern day student’s intermittent schedule of history, math and science? Does a less structured schedule lead to a happier life?
“Although I view my education as a significant and important aspect of my life, I do wonder if my life would be more fulfilling if there was a greater balance between school and what I enjoy doing in my spare time,” said sophomore Amanda Roberts.
The thing is I do not think it is merely our ungratefullness for education as it is the judgement held upon us for not being up to societies’ standards. We are constantly overwhelmed with the constant and ever-looming thoughts that every academic action matters to our future. It is not that we do not appreciate the opportunities given to us, we are just trying to find a balance. It is okay that sometimes history class bores you because if you are not planning to be a historian it could seem pretty pointless. I believe it is important our teachers understand we are well aware and not ungrateful for their services, but maybe a little bit tired when faced with five hours of homework. That an “A”, “B”, “C”, “D” or “F” should not reflect what you see in our potential. Because speaking for what I believe is the general population of this school, we are trying! So do not take offense to our seemingly demonizing attitude towards school or towards you, take it as a sign of hope that one day our self worth will not be determined in the academic societies’ eyes by a GPA, ACT/SAT score, and grades.