The Most Important Lesson We Learn In School

The Most Important Lesson We Learn In School

We learn how to learn and why we learn.
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Each day, whether I am aware of it or not, I learn something new. Whether it be from sitting in AP Government class or from a conversation with a stranger, I gain knowledge daily. It was the great mind Socrates who said, “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.” It is only in acknowledging that the world offers so much to us to know that we might never uncover that the path to learning truly begins. It is in accepting the importance of that daily growth in knowledge that we might come to understand to our fullest capabilities.

Each child is required by federal law in the United States to attend school until the age of 16. Up until the age of 16, the student has no choice but to be present in class. He is forced to sit in his desk and be present in school. Learning, however, cannot be forced. A student must choose to study, to complete his homework, to wish to comprehend the information that is placed before him, and beyond the age of 16, he must choose to continue attending school.

As a student I, too, was forced to attend school up until the age of 16, but I still made a conscious choice. I chose to learn. I chose to complete my homework assignments on time, to listen to what my teachers had to say, to write the required essays, and sometimes to even do extra credit assignments. Though I did not wish to take tests and homework was far from my favorite activity, I truly enjoyed learning from the beginning. I cherished, and still cherish, that moment in which I finally understood something, the feeling that the world makes more sense than it did before.

Public schools provide education to students without requiring any compensation from the student or pay from the parents, but I have attended Catholic school since kindergarten. Catholic school requires sacrifices from my parents, not only of finances, but also of time. My parents have made a choice to grant me the best education possible that stresses not only core classes but also my faith that I have so deeply come to love. Because my parents chose to make such great sacrifices for me, I continue to make the best of my education and the opportunities my parents have provided for me through my education.

Since I turned 16, I have continued attending school though the law no longer requires me to. Yes, my parents would kick me out of their house if I decided to drop out, but my willingness to wake up at 6 in the morning to attend school was founded on so much more than a threat. I live for those moments in which I write something that I am proud of or I finally solve that math problem that I had been struggling with all week.

My education has allowed me to grow as a person and has taught me to love learning. I have found myself in recent years doing my own research, reading books for pleasure, and discussing events and intellectual topics with my family to gain greater comprehension. Because of the work of my wonderful teachers and the well-renowned institutions I have attended since the age of five, I want to better myself academically. My education has taught me so much, but the most important lesson my education ever taught me was that I truly desire to know more.

Cover Image Credit: The Odyssey Online

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To The Friends I Won't Talk To After High School

I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.
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Hey,

So, for the last four years I’ve seen you almost everyday. I’ve learned about your annoying little brother, your dogs and your crazy weekend stories. I’ve seen you rock the awful freshman year fashion, date, attend homecoming, study for AP tests, and get accepted into college.

Thank you for asking me about my day, filling me in on your boy drama and giving me the World History homework. Thank you for complimenting my outfits, laughing at me presenting in class and listening to me complain about my parents. Thank you for sending me your Quizlets and being excited for my accomplishments- every single one of them. I appreciate it all because I know that soon I won’t really see you again. And that makes me sad. I’ll no longer see your face every Monday morning, wave hello to you in the hallways or eat lunch with you ever again. We won't live in the same city and sooner or later you might even forget my name.

We didn’t hang out after school but none the less you impacted me in a huge way. You supported my passions, stood up for me and made me laugh. You gave me advice on life the way you saw it and you didn’t have to but you did. I think maybe in just the smallest way, you influenced me. You made me believe that there’s lots of good people in this world that are nice just because they can be. You were real with me and that's all I can really ask for. We were never in the same friend group or got together on the weekends but you were still a good friend to me. You saw me grow up before your eyes and watched me walk into class late with Starbucks every day. I think people like you don’t get enough credit because I might not talk to you after high school but you are still so important to me. So thanks.

With that said, I truly hope that our paths cross one day in the future. You can tell me about how your brothers doing or how you regret the college you picked. Or maybe one day I’ll see you in the grocery store with a ring on your finger and I’ll be so happy you finally got what you deserved so many guys ago.

And if we ever do cross paths, I sincerely hope you became everything you wanted to be. I hope you traveled to Italy, got your dream job and found the love of your life. I hope you have beautiful children and a fluffy dog named Charlie. I hope you found success in love before wealth and I hope you depended on yourself for happiness before anything else. I hope you visited your mom in college and I hope you hugged your little sister every chance you got. She’s in high school now and you always tell her how that was the time of your life. I sincerely hope, every great quality I saw in you, was imprinted on the world.

And hey, maybe I’ll see you at the reunion and maybe just maybe you’ll remember my face. If so, I’d like to catch up, coffee?

Sincerely,

Me

Cover Image Credit: High school Musical

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An Open Letter To Myself At 15

This is an open letter to myself about things I wish I had known at 15.

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Dear Hailey,

You are so loved. I know times might be hard, but it will all be okay. It's okay to ride the fence and be unsure of what you want to do with your life. You're going to change your mind 10 more times before graduation anyways. Also, don't worry about all of the things that you can't change. You can't make someone fall in love with you or make her treat you like a better friend. It's okay for people not to fit in your life. Stop bending over backward for people and live for yourself. In a few years, you will go through so much, but you come out on the better side. You are going to be successful and driven. Also, learn what the meaning of "self-care" is. You need to do a lot of that in the upcoming years. Mental health is more important than anything. Also, quit cutting your baby hairs. They will never get longer so you need to embrace and love them early on. Figure out what you can change, and what you cannot. Most importantly, accept what you cannot change. When you decide that you are ready to face the things that you can change, do it with your whole heart. That doesn't mean complete perfection. It's important to know the difference. Start by making a plan for the future. Write it down, memorize it, do whatever makes it the easiest for you. Think through your plan logically, take into consideration your strengths and weaknesses. Remember to do the hard things first once in a while, the relief is sweet in the end.

You are ready.

You are young.

You are smart.

You are beautiful.

If you ever feel that you are at your lowest point, just remember the only place that you can go is up. Find reassurance in the weakness. The best is yet to come. Don't take pity on yourself. Instead, work harder to make your situation better. Be happy. There are so many things to be thankful for. Ask when you need help. No one can read your mind. Time won't stop for you. Worrying and stressing is simply a waste of time. Be strong and know that you are in God's hands. Everything will work out. It may not be today or tomorrow, but eventually, the pieces will fall into place and you will understand why things had to happen that way.

Love,

Me

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