We Learn For School And Not For Life

Non per scholae sed vitae discimus or in other words we don’t study for school, but for life.

How true is really this statement? I finished high school 9 years ago, have been since then in the institutions of higher education and I must admit that school doesn’t prepare you well for the realities of  everyday life. What we mostly do in school these days is memorizing endless material.

We don’t get encouraged to use our creativity and if we differ in any way from the norm, we often get criticized. I was a gifted student and because no one in high school recognized my talents, I struggled a lot with school. I was way ahead of my colleagues in the terms of knowledge, but I was somehow always getting bad grades- I just could not learn all that given data by heart and present it to teachers. We also don’t learn how to follow directions, but instead we learn how to pretend that we agree with our teachers.

Skills as how to find a job in this economy or how to start a job, what career do we want to pursue or how to manage taxes are not being taught at most institutions. I didn’t even know what a cover letter was when I was looking for a job during high school, let alone how to write it.

Apart from that, I suffered from low self esteem years after high school because I was always given bad grades. I felt enormous anxiety when I would have to speak or answer teachers’ questions in front of the class. I would also compare myself to other more successful students and beat myself down for not having achieved the same „success“.

In Croatia, every couple of years we hear that our educational system will be reformed, but from my opinion no one knows which ideas to implement.

Therefore, education still stands as one big experiment and all I can say to new generations is- you’ll survive, just like we did.


Learning Is For Life

Back in elementary school, when I was around 9 or 10 years old, my teacher called my name in the classroom and told in front of everyone that I am the most hard working person among them. At that time, just in the moment of my teacher´s recognition, I felt awkward as I didn´t want to be in the sole centre of attention. But the revelation and acknowledgment of someone older and experienced came as a nice compliment.

I showed great dedication, interest and self discipline from young age. Were it only my character traits, or my parents had they role in my education?

I think both of the aforementioned facts share its relevance. My parents always encouraged me to learn, to observe and to pay attention to the world around me. They played games with me, taught me how to read, they signed me for countless activities. I played tennis, learned Spanish and German, played piano…

It all shaped me as a person- through my activities I learned the power of knowledge and became self sufficient. I learned to strive for better and put lots of effort in achieving my goals. In my family, my mother was always helping my brother and sister in studying and preparing for school, yet she didn´t have to do the same with me.

Although I sometimes felt overwhelmed from all the pressure and demand that came hand in hand with my strict school, I took my obligations seriously. My days were always beginning with studying and at the end of the day, not so late in the night, it would only take me a few minutes to fall asleep.

When the end of the school year would be approaching, I would make a calendar and cross each day which passed- I was counting days until Summer.

Learning and working habits are behaviours which require lots of conscious effort and sacrifice, therefore some never form them. Families which provide encouragement and which place high value on education will more likely spike same interests in their offspring.

Luckily, I came from one of those families and despite having had some struggles, I am on a continuos path of studying, improvement and gaining more and more knowledge.

Because that is the best path, I can assure you.