Survival of the Fittest: Adapting to School

October 17, 2017
By Anonymous

My mom and dad always told me, “If you want to live a good life, get good grades in school and succeed.” It is a saying that has stuck with me from the day I was sent to kindergarten until now. I was oblivious to the world around me. I had no idea what I was doing and had no really good control of handling myself. Every school year that had passed, I had realized the importance of this saying even more. It is something that has been nailed to the back of my head and will never be forgotten. Now this motivating statement would only empower me to face the challenges of what school threw at me: passing.

If you were to ask me what it means to win in school, I would just say “it’s to not die.”  Of course I don’t mean this literally, but every passing school year, the challenges school has to offer escalate as the classes grow more rigorous with its workload and difficulty. People often forget the purpose of school as they begin to grow exhausted and annoyed with the work requirements school asks for. When this happens, I remind them to not give up and to remember all the successful people who live successful and wonderful lives because of the success they made from school. Even so, some people doubt this, and believe the efforts they put into school is worthless. Because of this doubt and oblivion, people doubt themselves and often give up in school because they no longer want to try or because school has hammered them down.

Many people who have completed school and have succeeded have always told people who are on the brink of giving up or to people who are still in school to not give up. These successful people have brought in their experiences in school; some of these experiences involve challenges that ranged from bullying to financial problems. These people have demonstrated their perseverance against the struggles of not only education itself, but the factors of their daily lives that contribute to this struggle. Some people talk about how they faced the influences of peer pressure or how they faced difficult family and financial problems at home. Everyone lives different lives and thinks differently: how someone succeeds may not be the way for someone else to succeed. In the American system of education, success differs for everyone based on themselves and the lives they live. There is no guaranteed method for everyone to succeed in school.

I, myself, have adapted to the education system and its demands. Living a stable life at home and also having a rarely volatile schedule means that I am able to balance the tough work at school and also a life of my own. As school years pass, however, school and life has presented challenges to me which contribute conflicts in my struggle to “survive” in the educational world. In able to survive in the education system, I have made sure to simply just submit my work, do classwork, and achieve satisfactory test scores. Even so, the struggle still persists with the ever growing school work. Surviving school has been the same every year, with the exception of the increasing workload. I have witnessed my own failures and the failures of others as my class and I struggle to succeed and survive in school. School is simply just the survival of the fittest; those who don’t consistently follow the school work of school and fail to succeed while those who do pass with wonders and win in education. Like my parents have always told me, “having good grades means having a good life”.

When it comes to discussing the flaws and errors that could possibly mean the difference for people to pass or fail, many factors are not considered when we look at the education system. People only consider the actual flaws of school systems and the education they offer to the students. Some people have made school analogous to factories; each class is a batch of products produced in order to be sold for the real world. The real world are the colleges out there and companies looking for their next star employee. This analogy makes school seem monotonous and also inconsiderate over the fact that everyone is different. The school gives requirements to the attending students, and those who do not meet those requirements fail to succeed in the system. This is another reason why I always saw school as a place of survival; you either adapt to the school’s requirements or you fail. I have done my best in my past years to meet these expectations and so far, I have survived well.

Our education system has become a battle ground of nature where students either pass or fail. Those who are less fortunate may suffer in the system; it may not be because they cannot withstand the work or the requirements the school is looking for, but it may be because of other factors in life that contribute to their struggle. If we take into account the fact that everyone has their own struggle and weaknesses, only then will we understand that the education system can never be perfect for anyone. Attempts may be made, but the reality is, our differences will never allow us to have one perfect system of education. It all depends on who we are, the life we live, what we are good at, and how well we fare in school.

The author's comments:

I wrote this for a class where we had debated many views and perspectives of education. These views ranged from Plato's "Allegory of a Cave" to Malcolm X, to people dealing racial discrimination in school. I related my own experience to these different perspectives and have concluded that the education system can never be perfect for anyone. Everyone adapts to the system differently. The school system's differences and imposed requirements on people make it seem like a battle for survival.

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