Change Your Thinking Change Your Life

This article is for people who are feeling challenged in life and starting a healing journey. For those of you who have been on a healing journey for a while it is a healthy reminder. Each of us has…


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What are we becoming?

School has become this place of boredom and stress where students have to spend more than 13 years of their lives. The only reason we are capable of surviving is because of our classmates and friends. However, when we look at the things we learn in school, the only things that come to mind are English, Math, Science, Social Studies. These are the things we are taught in school. When someone asks you, “who are you, what are your values and defining qualities?”, there is nothing interesting we can answer. We can’t say, “my defining quality is Math”. That is just the most horrific thing that can happen.

William Deresiewicz wrote in his book Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite and the Way to a Meaningful Life that students are becoming more like sheep. We are doing what we are told. We take tests, homework, and classes on topics that we have no choice over. We do all this extracurricular work for college. We have to respect teachers and other faculty members because they are the ones who will judge and grade us. This concept of having a grade is the defining problem. The grade is what decides whether we are being bad sheep, good sheep, or excellent sheep. We try to get the best grade, when in reality the grading system is insignificant since it is different everywhere. Even in the same school, different teachers can have different grading styles. So there is really no point in seeing grades as defining you. Yet, we give them a power like no other, a power that could either “save” us or “destroy” us.

Are we really becoming excellent sheep who only chase grades and praise? I feel like I’ve become like this type of sheep. It seems inevitable in the society we live in. I can’t control the fact that I get stressed when I see a grade that I don’t like in my gradebook. I could forget about it, but it’s really hard because it seems to me like that grade could change the outcome of my life. The lack of “real learning” is what is causing this. Yes, we learn Language, Math, science, and social studies. But these are not the important aspects in life. We should be learning how to manage stress, be healthy both physically and mentally, and listen to stories from different people who have led different lives. We are always learning all these meaningless things and the worst part is that we are being graded on these. A lot of students have a hard time looking beyond textbooks and gradebooks and actually think what they want to be in this world. I’m not talking about whether you want to be a doctor or a lawyer. I’m asking who you want to be and what you want to be remembered by.

I feel like school has made me into someone who I don’t want to be because of the stress I experience. All this meaningless suffering and an incapability to not care about it; that is what school has given me. Of course, there are amazing things that come with school like the relationships that are made and the fun activities that exist. But with everything else, I believe that there has to be a way in which we can make learning in school be more than the plain subjects and grading, but rather learning about life and its meaning.

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