Tuesday, 29 April 2014

An Open Letter: What Students Actually Need to Hear.

My hands clenched into small, rigid fists, and my jaws locked tightly together. I squinted my eyes as tightly as I could, took a deep breath, opened blogger and began to type.

I've done this kind of post before and was fairly sure I wouldn't be at it again, yet here I am. Recently I read a post, yes, once again by a fairly well known blogger that sent my emotions to the deepest darkest depths of hell, for lack of a less intense description. I'm not going to insert links, names, or anything like that because as I've previously stated I'm not trying to get in an internet fight or start "beef" with a big blogger, I'm just here to make my thoughts known on the topic.
The overall premise of his post was about what he (a teacher) feels students need to hear. He says that the overall purpose of school is not academics, but to learn real life skills through school experiences. For example, you're learning respect, by not "giving an attitude" to the teacher in the hall who asks you why you aren't in class. As if respect isn't something you can learn without kissing the behind of an unnecessarily assertive teacher.

As an eighteen year old, approaching my second year at university it's not really hard to see why this post annoyed me as much as it did. What students need to hear isn't that it's about time they suck it up, because school will teach you EVERYTHING you need to know about life, because that is wrong. So wrong on every possible level that you can dissect the word wrong. He went on to further talk about not "quitting" and how school prepares you to face other obstacles in life. I'm not debating that. Yes, school can teach you those things, but how does quitting fit into it? Quitting is not a bad thing, in my eyes. I've spoken about it before in THIS post. If a person is doing something they don't like, and knows it will not further them in the direction they are aiming to go, why on earth should they be forced to stick it out through school? Forcing a person to sit through bogus classes, in the hopes that it will eventually teach them something helpful in life is not only stupid, but inconceivably counterproductive. What exactly is that teaching them, resilience or submissiveness?

I guess what hurt the most was that upon reading the title, the ever so convincing title, I thought the post was going a very different direction. I genuinely believed for a second this was a professor who got it, and rather than telling kids to just stick it out, and suck it up he was coming to say something students really needed to be told.

Without rambling and spitting any further venom down the man's throat I'd like to say what I feel students really need to hear, coming from a student.

School does not define you. A mark on an exam paper says no more about you than a rogue personality test on the internet. You are not bound to the title student, and by no means are you obligated to do something you hate, because someone else is going to base your value on a piece of paper saying you've done four more years.
Before you are a student, you are a human being. Regardless of what a test paper, or a professor who knows little to nothing about you may say, you are smart, you are wise and you have a purpose.
You know yourself more than anyone else does, or ever will and you know what's right for you at any given point in your life. Don't allow anyone to make you feel like you've made a bad decision because you've quit something. Sometimes quitting is one of the bravest, and best decisions a person can make for themselves. If you're onto bigger and better things for your life, you're entitled to quit the old and stale for the new and exciting.

If you're going to spend your nights and early mornings slaving away at work, it may as well be something you're proud you did rather than an empty revision for an exam you'll write, give to your professor and never think of again. Your minutes are precious, spend them wisely.


(If you'd like to see the post, message me and I'll send you a link)


  1. #word.

    Girl you speak such wisdom! Seriously!

  2. Fabulous post, thanks for being so open and sharing your true thoughts on this!!! Enjoyed this a lot :)

  3. Aww Leah, can I be the president of your fan club?
    You are spot on. I think school does teach valuable life lessons but it is in no way perfect. It also brings experiences that you don't need and each person has to take the path that is right for them. I'm glad I finished school, I got through but I would never ever go back. I don't have it in me to go through those last few years again!

    Proud of you for writing this!


  4. I read that post that your talking about and I felt the same way. Being bound by a class you hate and blindly obeying a openly rude teacher isn't exactly the first thing that comes to mind when I think of learning life lessons.

  5. I agree with you, I heard those lines to many times!

    Much love xxx

  6. Hi, i love reading your blog and i have nominated you for a liebster's award. Yo can read about it in keep writing, hope you participate in the nominations. xx

  7. The only thing school should teach anyone is the importance of thinking your own thought. Everything else is superfluous.

    / Avy

  8. Thank you so much for your honest comment. It was more than just "cool pictures" to leave a comment and get views.
    Thanks for supporting and following me. Feel always free to give me your feedback! Just with feedback you can improve! ;)

    Al the best

  9. Beautifully written, Leah :) Spot on! I'm at a place in life where I don't know if my current job is the right one for me, so I'm constantly trying to figure out what I actually want to do. Because you're totally right: spending eight hours a day somewhere you don't really want to be; that's not life. So thank you! :)


  10. Now this definitely shed some light on the entirety of the subject. Seriously, Leah, you know how to kick some sense into the human brain. Thanks for such a refreshing take on this, I'm captivated. :)

  11. I hope that you are pursuing a doctorate in education and then you can perhaps change the mentality that all students must graduate with a certain number of credits in specific content areas, or create high schools that prepare students for specific jobs. Until then the system is as it is and educators are bound by the laws (bad laws behind good intentions) and the letter is meant to encourage those students in this system. I am not sure that many students know what they want to do when they "grow up", best to keep as many doors open as possible by being successful in all courses.