Amongst the everyday school chatter, I hear certain phrases repeated over and over again, one of which is, “When am I ever going to use this in real life?” The “this,” despite improper antecedent, is the things being taught in students’ classes.
If I’m honest, I’ve asked this to friends and even to myself several times. And fair enough, maybe I won’t use the quadratic equation in my everyday life, but I would argue that these things that are seemingly useless are vital to creating a population full of intelligent and well-rounded citizens. Think about it; people don’t pay taxes going toward public schooling to just rerun a cycle of useless knowledge. They pay those taxes to improve their lives, your lives, and the lives of the people who will come after us. If someone currently attending FHC creates a cure for cancer in the future, the standard of living in the U.S. and around the world will rise.
But the learning gained in school is not only about improving the lives of those older than you and those who will come after you. It creates a world where people can reference classic literature and it is understood. It creates a world where people can come together and solve problems. It creates a world where people can find their passions and take that burning passion to become teachers and keep the cycle going.
The things we learn in school may not always be useful for our futures, but the things we find useful in our lives are not the only things we consider beautiful. Of course, we all love the useful things in our lives. Our computers and phones are useful for school work and contacting people who are far away, but they’re also unconventionally useful for things that aren’t necessary to your school work. They’re good for finding information that you’ll also never use in regards to your future career. They’re good for finding videos and writings that make us feel something. These are among a million other things that won’t impact your career, but that’s the very reason that we love using these technologies.
The purpose of school was never to be painful for students; the learning process is meant to enrich and enthrall you. It is meant to create a world that everyone can be happy to be a part of. Try to learn as much as possible, try to be a part of the larger picture of your time, and try to realize the importance of each and every bit of knowledge bestowed upon you at school.
Because, no, you probably won’t use the Pythagorean theorem in your everyday, adult life, but it’s not about what you will use. It is about what you learn.