What’s the point of school?

10 Nov

What is the point of high school? Seriously.

What do you want?

List out the things you want to know and want to have done by the time graduation day rolls around.

Do you want to be accepted into a college? To have taken four years of science? To be valedvictorian? Are you interested in having a pocket full of cash or your own business?

Include your dreams: do you want to invent something? Travel the world?

Put anything you want on the list. Remember your academic goals first, but include other things that you hope to accomplish before high school is over.

Build the list

Include:

  • School-related things you think you ought to know
  • High school graduation requirements (find this on your state’s education agency website or http://www.hslda.org/hs/state/default.asp)
  • Things you’re interested in
  • Preparation for SAT, ACT, or AP exams
  • College entry requirements (check the university’s website)
  • Preparation for future job (for example, in order to be an actor, you need acting experience and to study acting techniques)
  • Cultural Literacy: What Every American Needs to Know by ED Hirsch
  • Your dreams (like to be a writer, a logician, a traveler, whatever)

Make it happen

Does your public high school provide you with opportunities to fulfill most of these?

Most people will have to say no. Unless you have a really amazing school or a really boring list, you probably won’t accomplish most your goals at your public high school.

You have two choices for accomplishing your dreams outside of school: extracurricular activities and a hacked education.

Extracurricular

Doing stuff before and after school (extracurricular) is a great time to get a lot of your goals accomplished. Unfortunately, homework and projects tend to leech into this time. But if you’re able to work on your list without sacrificing quality in your schoolwork, go for it.

Before School

Don’t knock the early morning. If you get enough sleep, the morning hours are great for getting things done. That’s how I run Hacking High School, which is not my day job.

Not sure if you’re a morning person? Try going to bed early enough that you get 7-8 hours of sleep before an early alarm. The thing is, you have to do this for about a week before you see any benefits. If you’re used to going to bed at 1 am, the first night will be really hard to go to bed at 10. You can also try the gradual route: go to bed 15 minutes earlier and wake up 15 minutes sooner. Do this every day until you’re waking up early enough to get an hour or more in the morning.

Instead of School

Hacking your education means you get to work on your list for school. Dream of inventing something? That can be your science class. Never again will schoolwork interfere with accomplishing your educational goals.

Be extraordinary

However you choose to do it, your list will provide you with a map to accomplishing a lot. This list alone will set you apart and above the majority of your fellow students. Knowing what you want out of school will help motivate you and make school worth going to. Doing things to take you one step closer to your dreams is a rush. Start your list today and be extraordinary.

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