Formal Education Undervalued by Teens

Joelle Nelson, News Editor

Teens seems to field the same questions constantly: Where will you attend college?  What career will you pursue?

For the most part, school has helped us answer these questions by providing us with the right tools. Yet k-12 education is not just an avenue for to getting into college and securing a job. It should be appreciated as a force capable of enriching our lives in a variety of ways.

Information about genetics provided in my freshman biology class, for example, helped me to understand the progress scientists made to combat the Zika virus.

Education’s power lies not only in its role as a conduit to adult life, but also in its capacity to provide a foundation from which to form personal opinions.

Take the example of climate change. Have you been taught how the environment is failing and action is imperative? Or have you been told about the benefits of natural gas? Both assertions may be true, but to make an informed opinion you need the facts.

Students often complain about the burden of school work, and some drop out of high school, take up careers and never again consider the value of formal education. The tediousness of scholarship however, is worthwhile in ways we might not at first comprehend.

To be fair, we’re not going to use everything that we learn from school in real life. You might ask yourself, “when am I actually going to need this?” And the answer could be “never,” or maybe you need it for your future job. The problem is you won’t know the answer to that question while you’re sitting in class. But you really don’t want to find out later that the answer is “yes, you do need to know how to find the surface area of a triangle,” and you find yourself floundering.

Yes, it can be tedious, and you may or may not apply the many facts and figures, formulas and rules for calculations in your adult life, but maybe the point is that education is not so much about your adult life as it is about now, about this rare in-between stage before adulthood in which you are capable of molding yourself as a person.

Education provides you the materials for such a task. Whether or not you choose to use such tools is up to you.