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School!? What's the point?

September 18, 2007|By DYLAN THACKSTON

I'm sure many students during the years have wondered, "Why do I have to spend every day of my young life in school?"

Well, there are some very important reasons why education is important.

Face it, there are careers out there that require a lot of smarts, such as psychologist, computer engineer and wildlife biologist. And in order to get to these careers, you need some sort of education.

Now a lot of people could argue that you could just apprentice for whatever career you want to take, but there is a flaw in that. Yes, you could grow up on your parents' farm and learn from them how to grow plants and raise livestock. But you might not learn about jobs such as video game designer, teacher of English as a second language, rocket engineer or firefighter, all of which require training. Even if you liked farming, you might discover in school that you love music and want to perform professionally or teach music.

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We don't have to do what our parents did for work. We take it for granted, but, historically, the idea that teenagers can pursue whatever career they choose is a fairly new concept.

Education gives you an open outlet to see what jobs are out there in the world.

Going to school is like looking through a telescope to see into the deep reaches of careers. Education is a big step to help us on our journey into adulthood.

You can argue that life experience is better for you than book experience. Certainly it's good to learn from life; life teaches you things you can't learn from class. But there are limits - going to a concert and watching rock stars jam out isn't going to make you any better at playing guitar.

On the other hand, if you go to a concert, it might reignite your passion for music, so that when you return home you want to pick up your guitar with renewed dedication. So yes, classroom knowledge is very important, but that doesn't mean life experience is a complete waste of time, either.

Apprenticeships are one of the best ways to learn about the career you're interested in. You get hands-on education, and you are taught by someone whom you get to know better than any public school teacher. Apprenticeships give you the life-experience side of learning, and give it to you in the best way: hands on.

But if you want to make the most of your apprenticeship, you will need some years of book smarts behind you. You don't need book smarts to work at McDonald's or at another store's cash register. But most interesting jobs need training. Nearly everybody uses computers on the job. Nearly everybody needs to know how to read and write.

Some people have a knack for computers or reading or writing. But most people need to be trained. That's what school is for.

So what's the value of Education? It is the key you use to unlock any number of possibilities for your life. It's the tool that anyone of us can use to succeed in our life, and it's free to teenagers - at least up until college.

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