As May turns into June, the school year is winding down. With EOCs, AP tests, and other tests wrapping up, students relax and unwind, engaging in leisure activities ranging from watching a few movies to playing games. In this atmosphere of relaxation, some begin to reflect on the school year that has passed: What have we learned? Will I use any of the things I’ve learned? What was the point of all this?
However, while this may sound cliché, the most important thing you learn in high school isn’t in the classroom, nor will it be in any textbook or practice book. All of this is a backdrop against the lessons that will stick with you throughout your lives: time management skills, how to deal with a diverse group of people, how to find your way around a building, etc. In a sense, high school you prepares you for life in general. Just like high school is complicated, so is life. Just like in high school, in life, you will have to prioritize your work, deal with difficult-to-work-with classmates or co-workers, and balance your work with leisure and social life. High school is unique in that you can experiment with these life experiences while still having a sort of safety net to fall back on. In high school, you still have parents close by, teachers who take care of individual student needs, and friends that you may have had for years. More likely than not, all of this will change in college and beyond.
However, this is not to say that book learning in high school is worthless. The things you learn in high school will serve as a foundation for learning in college, and keeping your grades up in high school will train you to keep your grades up in college. The same goes for studying, working on projects, and writing essays: do them well now, so you’ll know how to do them well in college.
So what am I trying to say? My point is that you shouldn’t worry if after you graduate, you can’t remember who the 16th Roman Emperor was, or what the square root of 12π is; unless you’re studying to be a Roman historian or mathematician, you likely won’t need such obscure information in your life. If you’re a senior close to graduating, congrats on a job well done. If you’re not a senior, then work hard during the time you have left, and learn as much as you can, whether it’s in the classroom or not. In the end, the most important thing you get out of high school is life experience, which will stick with you through college and beyond.