What Schools Can’t Teach You

Some of the most important things you will ever acquire and learn will not be in an academic setting. The things you learn outside of school can dramatically effect your future work life, from directing you on what your goals are, as well as setting up new skills that you may or may not use in the future.

Discipline is necessary for subjects outside of school, such as ballet. (photo by gigile)

#1: They Can’t Teach You Discipline

In the United States, the school systems relish in the No Child Left Behind act. There is equal opportunity in schools and not nearly enough competition-based training. On top of that, there are always second and third and fourth chances. If you fail to receive a high school diploma, you can opt for a GED. If you don’t pass the FCAT, you can take an SAT or ACT in place of the scores. This is not to say that the latter is of lesser value; however, they are secondary options because one could not acquire the first. There are always round-about ways to achieve goals, therefore disabling the prospect of discipline for students.

#2: They Can’t Teach You Reliance

As much as it is generally thought of as a “good thing” to be independent, nobody ever lets you know that it is okay to rely on other people sometimes. As Harvey MacKay stated in this post, “You can’t do everything yourself. Control freaks make the job harder and foster resentment among the troops.”

#3: They Can’t Teach You to Expect the Unexpected

As much as we would like to believe we are prepared for the worst, the truth is that no one can ever truly be entirely prepared for predominantly bad events. Losing someone, losing a job – losing anything, really, can take a dramatic toll on your mental state as well as your emotional state. When businesses fail, many will not foretell of their foreclosure as to keep their employees as long as possible, as well as keeping the peace within the business. Then, one day, you could come to work, and the doors can be locked, the lights can be off, and there could be boxes inside upon further inspection. Always, always, always expect the unexpected.

#4: They Can’t Teach You to Be Vulnerable

Going along with #1, if schools can’t teach one to be competitive, they also can’t teach one to be vulnerable. As quoted by William G. T. Shedd, “A ship is safe in harbor, but that’s not what ships are for.” Life is but risk after risk. Vulnerability is a great asset to have in any situation. Having the guts to say, start a business, ask someone out on a date, or ask your boss for a raise is a valuable characteristic.

It is not that you can’t learn these things in school, because you may have the opportunity to, but it is not part of the curriculum. It is the life-changing characteristics that you will not learn from your Algebra 2 curriculum or your Geometry curriculum. Instead, you may learn these things outside of school. Regardless, these things are valuable things to know.

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