The things school taught me

Discovering that school has taught me valuable skills for the future


Lakshanyaa Ganesh

Neysa Singh works on her math homework. Photo by Lakshanyaa Ganesh

Neysa Singh

It took me 15 years to realize that school isn’t totally useless. Yes, when I’m sitting in AP U.S. History learning about colonization, I’m certainly not thinking, “This is going to be super useful for the career in biology I want to pursue.” And like me, you’ve probably taken some classes where you feel like you’re learning things you will never use in the future. I’ll admit it took a lot of stressful late night study sessions and completing last minute homework for me to realize that school is about the bigger picture. Maybe some of the classes I’m taking are teaching me content that isn’t particularly useful to me, but I’ll carry the skills they’ve taught me with me throughout my life.

 I’d like to think that I’ve always been pretty organized, but I can’t tell you how many times my mom has had to drive to school with a folder that I forgot so I can turn in my homework during 6th period. As a student, I’m forced to establish different habits and schedules that work for me. For example, every night, I always make sure to switch on my five alarms, pack my bag and set out my clothes for the next day. While that may seem unnecessary, it is what I need to do to prevent myself from freaking out in the morning. School has aided me in learning my flaws and areas in which I lack, such as my compulsive need to do everything beforehand, so that I can better prepare myself in the future. 

I’m not going to lie, I’m not really a people person. I’m pretty introverted, and sometimes too many people all at once is just draining. However, not only has school made it a lot easier to make friends, but also taught me how to work with others on group projects, which is certainly a valuable skill for the future. Collaborating with others is a huge part of any career I may want to go into, and now that I have been forced to open myself my ideas to scrutinization, I am much more comfortable in collaborative settings.

Trust me when I say that, although I like to plan things out, I can also be a pretty bad procrastinator, especially when it comes to work I would rather not do. I’d like to say that I have really nice time management skills, but unfortunately, that’s still a work in progress. Honestly, my intense workload is making it easier for me to manage my time. At this point, I don’t really have the option to procrastinate —  which sounds awful — but this has actually helped me figure out how to spread out my work so I don’t get overwhelmed.

Although all of these lessons I’ve learned are important, I think the lesson I value the most is the importance of perseverance. Let’s face it: school is hard. It’s not easy to dedicate a large part of your life to a process that shapes you and your future. It’s hard to always feel motivated enough to work, and sometimes it’s easier to just give up. So when I’m too lazy to do those notes that I know my teacher won’t check the next day, I always come back to a single belief: I am in total control of how much I achieve. The amount of hard work that I put into something directly correlates to the results I will receive. And now, it’s this belief that gets me through all aspects of my life —  the six hour dance practices when I’m running on four hours of sleep, the demanding school days and all the late night studying and notes. 

Maybe I don’t need all of the information I’m learning right now for the future, but that doesn’t mean that the lessons I learned won’t help me in all aspects of my life in the future.