Since the beginning of human history, information has been passed on from one generation to the other in different forms, starting with simple oral traditions. Soon after, people began grouping into societies and the need for a written language was emerging. After that, laws were created and humans began to realize the need for some type of system to keep everyone in check. Next thing you know, schools were formed; all of them trying to win over the next generation’s mind, to create tomorrow’s leaders. Fast forward a couple thousand years and you’ve got classrooms full of kids, learning about “stuff”. Don’t get me wrong, the essence of education and the general pursuit of knowledge is in itself a beautiful aspect of human life, but the way it is approached today…not so much. Standardized schools have placed more emphasis on letter grades than they ever have on the importance of knowledge and creativity in human life. In my opinion, schools only “school” us, but do not educate us. It is absurd to believe that being part of a system that compels you to rot in confinement with people of the exact age and social class is educational. 

Forget this system; go to school to educate yourself rather than going to get “good grades”. Don’t let society define your success for you. Your worth cannot be measured in a letter, and definitely not in your ability to stay up after 1 AM and memorize the paper in front of you. Do not confine yourself by only gaining knowledge through school; gain knowledge through experiences and failures, gain knowledge in many areas, do not limit yourself to one. Allow yourself to choose your path, and do not choose the wrong one for the sake of conformity. You have freedom of choice; realize the importance of that and understand the responsibility it carries. There is nobody who should or can ever impede your freedom by telling you what is “acceptable”. Only when we strive to be our true selves, and muster up the courage necessary to defy the norm, are we are then able to break boundaries and form discoveries about ourselves and the world around us. These boundaries distinguish the separation between those who exist and those who live to innovate.

By: Yazeed Abul-Ata

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