Everyone starts out their lives with a blank slate. Going through life, I was searching for answers to everything that caught my eyes as they gazed across the world. In my younger days, solutions to pressing issues were often based on random assumptions that I extracted from the surrounding world. As I grew, I learned how far unbiased thinking could take someone by listening to what others were telling me, and then coming to my own conclusions instead of just stubbornly following one side without considering other viewpoints. The problem with having a one point of view is that it can create cripplingly depressing thoughts in one’s conscience especially if one is only able to see their side of the argument. On the other hand getting to the point of being completely objective about every situation can easily lead one to conclude that nothing has any particular purpose. For this reason, I believe that it is important for everyone to hold at least a few unshakable opinions yet still be open to new ideas. What would life be if we did not have some sort of interest to focus our spare time on?
Everyone wants to believe that they know what will happen to them because they know how precious life itself is and how quickly it’s gone. I am no exception to this idea because I choose to focus on simple things that I deem important every day, such as going to school or completing work for it. I could choose not to go to school in the morning but I continue to because I believe that it will put me in a better overall position when I reach an age of total independence from influences such as parents or friends from high school.
All of these thoughts leave me with a moral dilemma about various aspects of everyday life. Although I would like to think I make reasonable decisions every day, the evaluation of those decisions can differ from person to person. This is most noticeable with social interactions that I have with people as I can usually think of so many responses to what someone has asked me, whether those responses are socially acceptable or not, yet I still struggle to even get out a response. Regardless of how I respond, it can be difficult to know how another person interprets what I said. Perhaps this is an easily fixable personal issue, but it is where my thoughts have wandered to over the course of writing this piece. Who knows what I’ll be thinking a few years down the line.
People may glance over this story and think that I’m selfish and am missing the part of my life where I talk about how education should benefit others. It is true that education for so many is limited by their surrounding influences, which is heartbreaking because society has built an inescapable pit for certain people over the course of history. This argument alone is a motivation to continue to formulate a solid opinion as I grow older and that’s what I’ll do.
On the other hand, this is titled as a personal education story so perhaps the best approach to writing it is to project myself as the center of attention. If I had to focus on one aspect of education that makes it unique to every individual, it would be any factor that has influenced me, whether it’s within school or not, to have a specific outlook or mindset when going to school or gaining any sort of knowledge. Perhaps that goes unsaid with any person that has made their way through the school system but the fact that it seems fairly obvious doesn’t make it any less impactful. My life could be in a completely different spot at the moment if it had developed around different people or even a different part of the world. After all, influence is the world’s most powerful catalyst for a person’s actions.
It seems that certain years of my education went by faster than others. The faster years seem to be those from elementary school through middle school. Although this stretch of time was when I met the majority of the people that I talk with now, most of it does not stay in my head. Perhaps this is because I was at a point where I was not mature enough to see the significance of certain aspects of life. I remember being slow compared to all of the other students around me which is funny considering that it is still somewhat true today. I believe that fourth grade was the first year when I really started to put significant effort into getting decent grades. However, I became arrogant about my grades and an award I got thinking I was better than other people. Looking back on this, it seems to be a very selfish way of thinking, but I must admit that it was the first driving force that made me want to work hard at getting an education.
Besides this feeling of being superior to those around me, those that I became friends with early on also sort of “kept me in line.” I am particularly thinking of an individual that I still know well today who I met around second grade. He came from a family where all of his siblings were doing well in school and strived to work on tasks to the best of their ability. He was no exception as he mirrored this same work ethic and had the reputation of his siblings to add to his favorability among teachers. When I first noticed him, I was jealous of how well he seemed to do in school. I believe that another friend of mine introduced him to me that year and we were able to relate to each other fairly well and we have ever since. Since we have sort of grown up together, we have have been big influences on each other. We have gone from having a fondness for Legos, to a deep interest in movies from multiple genres and decades. We have educated each other as much as the school system has educated us. Like with any influence, I have no idea where I would be today if it weren’t for him.
My high school years have definitely been my most stressful but also my most reflective. Perhaps this is just the result of getting more mature and thinking for myself. I wouldn’t say that I have particularly enjoyed high school due to all of the stressful work that keeps piling on, but I am still able to see its significance in the progression of my life. Education is something that follows everyone throughout their entire life whether they are able to take advantage of it or not.