How my education shaped me
Education shapes us, theres no doubt about it. We spend most of our childhood lives in school but we rarely stop to think about how it makes us into the people we are today.
Education doesn't just mean learning how to use a bunsen burner or how to solve simultaneous equations (although sometimes it seems like that’s all we’re doing). The school environment plays a huge role in how we develop our core beliefs. So other than factorials, what have I learnt from my time in school?
- Challenging yourself
School allows us to experience ideas other than those we’ve been taught at home. With the other half of our childhood lives being spent with family, school life exposes us to notions that challenge our own beliefs and teaches us to analyse and make our own decisions in life. An example of this is when I sat across from my friend one lunch time while she proceeded to squirt a ketchup packet all over her chips. I hadn’t considered this way of eating. Ever. At home we are strictly a “ketchup on the side” kind of family. I challenged my beliefs and tried her caveman style of eating. I analysed, compared and concluded that it made my chips soggy and I wasn’t about that kind of life. So overall, I was able to make my own decision to stick with my ways. This however is also the same friend who introduced me to chips and Mcflurry combo that I will defend to my dying day, a challenge I was glad for.
- Inspiration and opportunity
School is filled with inspiring individuals. Yes, you can see them on tv and read articles about them but these are often people you will never meet. School exposes you to friends, teachers, motivational speakers in assemblies that you can really be mentored by and bounce all of life’s questions off of. I remember when the first after school art class was opened up in my primary school, I distinctly recall my eye twitching with excitement (yes I was an odd child). Surprisingly, the class was full with a bunch of my peers whom I had never really had the opportunity to speak to otherwise. It was actually our headteacher who ran the class out of her own time and ensured that there were group and individual projects that we could work on. Not only did I learn art skills that weren't taught in the standard curriculum. (To be able to see the teacher give us her time after a full day of running the school and be available to answer our questions outside of school hours was inspiring and taught me selflessness (and how to make a papier mache cockatoo).
It took a pretty traumatic experience for me to believe in the power of togetherness. Sports day is known for team building and friendly competitiveness and having been put in the underdog team, we had a lot to prove. Why I was placed in the relay team is a mystery to me however as the baton was passed to me I sprinted with all my might. Halfway through, my green sash that I had worn proudly for the full day decided to betray me as it slipped off my shoulder and wrapped itself around my legs. Needless to say, I came crashing to the floor and we lost (Yes this is all caught on camera for endless viewing pleasure). The guilt I felt was immense and I slumped off into a corner in an attempt to avoid the onslaught. The “mob” i was confronted with however, were surprisingly on their way to comfort me and let me know that it wasn't my fault. This experience not only taught me the importance of forgiveness but also how important it is to support our peers. (I also learnt to stitch a green band to my t-shirt, no more evil green sash for me).
There are so many other little lessons I’ve learnt along the way, that have moulded me into the person I am today. We often take for granted how fortunate we are to not only be taught the curriculum but also to have the opportunity to further ourselves with extracurricular activities, school trips, and our exposure to different ideas and people. So next time you hear someone say “School wasn't for me” or “Educations not for me,” remind them that education has played a big part in who they are.