An Education

7:51 PM

The importance and value of it, and how it has affected me.


To most, the concept of education seems confining. In these times, competition is demanding and it's easy to feel discouraged. Schoolwork is done without interest or heart, and attempting to do the most (clubs, grades) is draining. The grueling American education system is oft seen with distaste by its students, and can power out the spark kids grow up with: the will to learn. These factors are off-putting and prompt kids to not work up to their fullest potential. Quality, in my opinion, is what is needed to foster and maintain that spark students initially have. Whether it be an enthusiastic teacher or an exciting curriculum, it all starts with a foundation.

I am extremely grateful in saying that my elementary school education was of that quality, of impact, of fun. The dedicated administration teaching me exemplify the essence of being an educator, especially at a level in which children are still growing. Our principal encouraged my peers and I in the most creative ways. From promising to dye his hair blue if we scored well on standardized tests, to reading Dr. Seuss on the roof of one of our buildings for Literature Day, he laid the foundation for a learning ethic that was both rigorous and full of wonder. The teachers I had carried out this message, as well. To this day, I still cite 5th grade as being one of the best years of my life. At the brink of growing out of childhood, it was a time of exploration, an era nurtured by my teachers. In-class plays on topics ranging from health to the Trail of Tears, competing for "table points" among our desk clusters, going on field trips to music shows and art museums, and so much more made for the best childhood experiences that I not only carry in my heart, but in my brain. I learned resourcefulness, teamwork, improvisation skills, and the joy of creativity, all things implemented into my high school education today. 



However, unfortunately, there are kids who do not receive the high-tier experience every child deserves. While my elementary is unforgettable, my middle school is lackluster. An overcrowded public school in a low-income neighborhood strains resources, or eliminate them altogether. All that was available for my forte, art and writing, was just a mediocre art class. By high school, I felt helpless and alone in seeking an artistic-oriented education. It is, obviously, more difficult to overhaul the entire system, but it is possible for you to do something- especially in this technological age! First: research. Research, research, research. Whether it be scholarships, internships, publication opportunities, or competitions, there is a way to foster your passion (scholarships.com is great). Also, remember that opportunity is not limited to the constraints of your school. Getting out there in your city can be very beneficial: look up available courses at a community college, contact town officials for anything you might have not heard of, or start something of your own! All it takes is effort to open doors. The more you know, the better off you will be. 

While I only touched on education pertaining to the academic system, it is so much more than that. We learn everyday and everywhere. Just because something is not calculus or U.S. history does not mean that knowledge is any less valuable. For example, watching How to get Away with Murder or Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, I learn about our justice system and the universe. Listening to music, I subconsciously process melodies to hum later. Reading, be it tabloids or Harry Potter, I learn another person's thoughts. I learn puns from my father, and I learn the state outside from the weather app. That extensive research I did on the best skincare routine? Learning. Education is such a natural and beautiful concept, that you must not grow to despise. Even if you still find the system horrible, plow through with this: only 6.7% of the world have a college degree. This is completely mind-boggling, and puts things into perspective. The sheer chance of being in the position to achieve that 6.7% status should not be taken lightly; it is an opportunity of the highest value. Some, as I, are in this state by a lucky chain of events. If my parents have not made the decision to immigrate to the U.S., if they chose not to endure the economic hardship and discrimination, I would most likely be sitting around in Mexico, waiting to get married. Education is extremely important, and a huge resource that, when fully taken advantage of, can present one with pathways to success. Follow your dreams, or something. Reach for the stars. Well, don't- you'll probably get fried alive by its heat and simultaneously be frozen solid by space's cold. 


"Intelligence plus character — that is the goal of true education."

- Martin Luther King, Jr.

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