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Education: A Misunderstood “Villain”?

Maria Miuțescu, X F

Do you love going to school? If your answer to that question was “no” before you could even finish reading it entirely, you are most certainly not alone. Most pupils today would choose almost any activity over going to school if presented with the choice. But why is that? Why do we associate the place where we spend over a quarter of our day with a negative space? Why is our perception of education so vilified? With answers spanning from “I find learning in a classroom boring” to “I don’t want to be a nerd,” it is clear that enjoying the act of acquiring knowledge is far from attainable for most. Or is it?

In an environment where paying attention to the teacher or developing an interest in a topic discussed in class will automatically get you labeled as a “nerd,” choosing to dislike school feels like the easiest way out. Still, there is another way! Approaching this situation from an optimistic point of view is the best thing one could do. For example, try redefining what different words mean to you! Being nerdy doesn’t necessarily have to mean being boringly studious and pretentious. It can mean being an ambitious, hard-working, and goal-oriented person who tries to enjoy as much of their day as they can. Small perspective shifts like this will make you feel more connected to yourself, but they will also make other people treat you more kindly. The law of attraction argues that “positive thoughts and actions reap positive rewards (and vice-versa for negative ones),” thus proving that letting yourself enjoy activities that don’t always abide by the norm of hating school will lead to happiness and peace of mind. The things you tell yourself will be reflected by what others say about you, so don’t be afraid to be your authentic self unapologetically!

Nevertheless, the problem of most pupils not liking school still remains multifaceted and deeply rooted in societal and educational norms. There are plenty of people who honestly believe that their relationship with learning is unsalvageable or who genuinely don’t enjoy going to (and being at) school. The antagonized vision students have about their education is not a reason to point fingers at anyone or bicker. Rather, this perspective is a sad wake-up call that something needs to be done. The average Romanian pupil spends about six hours a day at school, five days a week, for thirty-six weeks, amounting to approximately 1.080 hours per annum. The thought that so many people spend such a large period of their time doing something they do not find compelling and fulfilling is all but sad and pitiable.

All of that is not to say one should unconditionally love everything about school only because it takes up a big fraction of one’s day-to-day life. The best way to go about this is to strive to make your surroundings as pleasant and enjoyable as possible. There is always something to look forward to. There has to be. And if there isn’t, you have to create something you can look forward to. Participating in a school club that enhances your skills and shows off your talent is an effective method of doing so. Accordingly, you will be subconsciously correlating school with a positive activity. Moreover, clubs teach you myriad skills that classes also do, only through different, more practical techniques, thereby nurturing a newborn love for knowledge. Every human possesses, in one way or another, curiosity and a deep thirst for knowledge.

Overall, school has come to play the role of a villain in so many students’ minds and has become so daunting that it often overshadows the true potential for learning and personal growth that education can provide. I staunchly contend that it is within our power as pupils to change that, whether that may be via a shift in perspective or concrete actions.

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