Many people describe school as the best days of their lives, fondly remembering the fun and friendships they experienced. However, how much do they actually remember about what they were taught? At its core, school is intended to transfer knowledge and prepare young people to participate in society. While schooling intends well, it often falls short in delivering on its promise.
Since we were young, we have been told that attending school is essential. The endless pressure from parents and teachers has resulted in dropping out of school being viewed as a disaster, with failing to graduate leading to difficulties in finding work. However, the reality is that education is more than just school.
Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. While educators often guide the learning process, learners can educate themselves. Education can occur anywhere, at any time, and with anyone, including oneself.
Many highly successful people have achieved success despite dropping out of school. They learned on their own through self-study and life experiences. For example, Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin, dropped out of high school at age 16. Despite having poor academic performance and dyslexia, Branson is now worth an estimated $4 billion. Clearly, education can occur outside of school and can be just as valuable.
At school, learners often learn theories, but they often lack opportunities to apply the knowledge. Without application, have they really learned something? To succeed in school, learners must be obedient, and their success often depends on their teachers’ expectations. However, it ends up becoming their aim to fulfill the expectations of others instead of truly learning the skills they need to lead happy, healthy, and productive lives.
School and reality are often at odds with each other. To succeed in life, learners must think outside the box and do things differently. Many aspects of life, such as how to form and maintain positive relationships, how to work smart, and how to lead a meaningful life, are not part of the school curriculum. However, through education outside of school, such as reading books, watching videos, attending conferences, and experiencing life, learners can continue to learn and apply new knowledge.
To take advantage of education outside of school, learners should:
– Not limit learning to school: Explore ways to learn and apply knowledge that is actually useful in life, which can contribute to achieving personal goals.
– Read outside of interests: Learn outside of one’s normal circle to experience significant personal growth. For example, if one works as a writer, they could start learning a musical instrument, which could help their writing and provide a new hobby.
– Talk to smart people: Spend time with creative, positive, and successful people to learn from them.
– Question things and think beyond the obvious: Break through mental conditioning and start to think for oneself. A new perspective on life can open learners up to ideas and goals that could trigger success and fortune.
– Keep learning, experiencing, and applying oneself: With a road of never-ending learning, one can discover so many things about life and oneself that they never thought possible.
Education is bigger than just school. It is a way to continue to learn, grow, and enjoy life. To take control of one’s life, one must actively seek out opportunities to learn and develop themselves through everything they encounter. Rather than relying on past academic achievements, learners can keep learning, experiencing, and applying themselves to achieve success and fulfillment.