A collection of write-ups from experiences of life that inspire, empower, influence & trigger positive values, habits & mindsets.
9 Things I Learnt in School That Empower Me Even Today
About 12-15 years of schooling, 10 months of classes in each of those 12-15 years, countless number of man hours behind books and in front of the blackboards, yet one fails to realise valuable life lessons schooling days teach, rather than just textbook knowledge.
Many of us pass out of school vowing never to go back, from which majority regret not having school days anymore, later. Through this article, I have tried to touch upon several teachings, which are known to us now through experiences, but have their roots in the schooling days. The reason we didn’t understand it back then, is solely due to the young, not-so-mature minds that we had.
1. It’s OK to FALL!
How many of us have not feared the math exams or tests? Only a handful. Remember those days when we sacrificed the 5 o’clock Pokemon show only because we had a math test the next day, and that we hadn’t performed well the previous time? Here, the previous time, we had fallen, that bad, that we feared to get our parents’ signature on the marks card. This made us work harder for the next time, and made us give up distractions. This enabled us to bring in the attribute of determination into ourselves. It taught us that success doesn’t come easy. So, yes, very much, it is totally OK to fall; only to rise like a phoenix the next time.
2. Learn to live amidst all
School is a place where students from all kinds of clan, caste and culture dwell together. We made a lot of friends over the several years, but we developed disliking towards a few others too. Sometimes, untoward situations may have occurred, but it gave us an insight towards what’d lie ahead in our lives. The world carries on it, all kinds of people, and not all can get along with each other well. School taught us that we need to live amidst people with favourable as well as non-favourable vibes.
3. Don’t choose bad company
This aspect was heard by us from our parents’ mouth more than from anyone else. But the mistake often made was, bad company was equalised to someone who’d not score well. No! That isn’t bad company. Bad company is the company of one who distorts our solace. This can hamper us in so many ways. As young kids, we have this intuition that a certain person is bad to us, and we keep away from them. That intuition may or may not be true, but school definitely taught us to keep away from something we think isn’t right for us.
4. All you’ll have is you
When I completed my 10th, whatsapp was in its infancy in India. My batch had not been hit hard by the smartphone fever yet. 10th boards neared and parents wouldn’t send out their wards for group studies and there used to always exist, this competition of scoring more than your peers. Younger us would also feel jealous when the other got better grades than ourselves. And somewhere, by the nearing of the boards, conversations between friends too became serious. It only headed towards the college we’d join for 11th and 12th, and the course that we’d take up, to very less avail. The learning I can take from this phase that I described above- the world out there is a selfish one. The real life situations would be bigger in magnitude, but similarities can be drawn. When need arises, very few would be actually there for me. All I’ll have is myself.
5. Not all will stay
A throwback to the week that went by with us chalking out stupendous plans with our pals, after our boards got over; the promises we gave each other during the graduation ceremony; sparing a certain special ones, many are barely in touch. The major follow up on each other comes down to a click on the ‘like’ button on the Facebook newsfeeds. Those special ones who are meant to stay; throw in the major crushes and the infatuations we’d have had; only these make up the bulk of the pleasant memories. I’m not saying that it’s wrong, but these all are bound to happen; much like in the real life later over the years.
6. Knowledge, in any form, is valuable
It is a misconception that what we study in school is not of much help later. It is knowledge at the end of the day, and it is this possession that can make a student, a better human. Let us analyse certain subjects. English textbooks always had these stories and poems from the old Golden Era, which made us crib much. What we failed to understand is the worth of all the works written, that one needs to be proud of. Science always taught us the marvels behind basic daily-life activities. Social Science tried to educate the future citizens of the nation (although it failed to inflict interest in the majority) on the various events and structure of proceedings in the nation. This possession of knowledge in one imparts enormous confidence and self-esteem in him. This makes knowledge, a valuable asset.
7. Studies aren’t everything
(This is cliché) School gave us a chance to indulge in various activities that enabled us to carve out an all-rounder within ourselves. Even the ones, who couldn’t score well in the tests, would be pumped with bliss, involving himself in the extra-curricular activities he loved. Being in a blissful state of mind is most important.
8. Be the pilot
I happened to lead one of the student houses as a house captain. I was accountable for it. This gave me the opportunity to take up responsibility and taught me what it is to be the leader for the lot. It also imparted confidence. I learnt that a leader is only as good as the team, and that being accountable for something and not to let it down is a huge task. That doesn’t mean you deny responsibility. Be the pilot when you can, because there are too many passengers already waiting to be carried across.
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9. Be inquisitive
Haven’t we fought with our teachers asking for that extra mark or two? We all have, many a times, returned disappointed not being able to get that, haven’t we? Sulking over it, we failed to realise one life lesson. The teacher would have explained to us the reason the mark wasn’t given, but they were made to fall on deaf ears. Sometimes, we remember what is told and not repeat it. The explanation of the reason was a chance for us to correct our mistakes by gaining knowledge of what was unknown. But, in life later, there aren’t many chances available. A way to not commit many mistakes is by gaining knowledge on various things as much as possible. This is possible by, always having the urge to learn. Hence the learning, “Be inquisitive”.
Small instances we had come across in school, that had a lot to teach, were often discarded from memories of school. This article is an effort to enable one to remember his school days and learn from them, if there is anything to. I assure you that it’d empower you throughout too, as it’d do to me.
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Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 31st May 2017.