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School is Hell


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School is h*ll.

It’s waking up early in the morning to go somewhere I don’t want to be, and then getting to bed late because I have to finish homework I don’t want to do. It’s waking up and feeling physically sick to my stomach because I know the new school day will be just like all the other ones, and all the other ones are bad. It’s teachers forcing me to pay attention in a class I can get an A in without paying attention even though they gave me the homework I stayed up late to do. It’s being unable to enjoy the weekends because there’s always something that needs to be completed for the new week, and I can’t have fun without thinking about what I need to get done. It’s having to cut a fun activity short because there’s more work to do.

School is boredom. It’s the monotony of going to the same classes, in the same order, every day for seven hours a day, five days a week, without hardly anything interesting or exciting happening. It’s an atmosphere where interaction with classmates consists of mostly talking about assignments and working together on assignments, where conversations are considered off-topic. It’s working hard to learn all sorts of information and then taking a test knowing that it won’t end, that there will be more information to learn and more tests to take. It’s fear of my future, that nothing will change and I’ll end up doing the same thing for the rest of my life, that I’ll have a job where I go in day after day and work on things that earn money but don’t actually accomplish anything, and that I’ll constantly worry about money because my actual work isn’t important enough to worry about, and that I’ll finally retire when I’m old and can’t have fun like I can when I’m young. It’s knowing that despite my views, I’ll probably end up staying the course and have a job that’s just like school because it’s safe and it’s the kind of life school prepares you for.

School is phony. It’s busywork disguised as an education. It’s math equations I’ll never need and writing strategies I won’t use and random trivia I’ll forget. It’s writing another page on a topic I have no more to say about because of a length requirement. It’s an increasingly transparent preparation for tests and college entrance requirements. It’s learning all of those random facts and math equations so that I can get good grades on the tests and the ACT so I can get into a good college so I can learn more of the same stuff so I can get a piece of paper saying I’m qualified for a job that may or may not require the information I learned. It’s knowing that all the math I’ll ever use later in life is the simple stuff I learned in third grade, and on the off chance I need to know more in the future, I’ll learn what I need to know more extensively than I am now; it’s knowing that just about any way you slice it, the learning I’m doing right now will be either useless or obsolete in the real world. It’s realizing that I learn more about myself on important topics like religion and morality and ethics through an hour of introspective pondering than I do in an entire school year. It’s reading a book or paper about a serious topic and almost completely forgetting what that topic is because I’ve been trained to focus on rhetorical strategies and word choice and how the author gets the message across rather than what the message actually is; after all, that’s what you need to know for the ACT. It’s understanding that the school system doesn’t want me to learn for the sake of learning, but so I can get good standardized test scores and help get the school into a top high school list in a magazine.

School is the feeling of being completely unfulfilled. It’s finishing a twelve page paper and having nothing to show for it except a twelve page paper. It’s working hard to learn material and memorize facts and complete worksheets and constantly improve papers and finally finish everything up, and getting an A—but feeling no satisfaction. It’s nothing like learning a new piece on piano or improving my skills on drums. An achievement of that sort is only the beginning of the reward. Every time I play a piano piece I have learned, I am reaping the benefits of all my hard work. Years from now I’ll still be able to play the piece to entertain myself and others. School is not like that. School is doing hard work and being rewarded one single time with an abstract letter grade that is meaningless other than as an indicator of how hard I tried.

Worst of all, school is something that matters, and it matters a ton. While school is a series of unbeneficial tasks, it is something I have to do. It is made up of pointless tasks, but it is not pointless. It’s an ordeal that is entirely necessary to complete if I want to have a productive future. It is something that wouldn’t matter at all if it wasn’t a requirement for being productive later in life. It’s not important to me, but having a meaningful life is very important. If I want to make my life important and useful, I have to spend many years learning things that are of no use to me, because just about every job I might want to have requires that I go to school, even if that job doesn’t actually require knowledge of the things I learn at school.

School really is so much more than a place to learn. It’s a place to be bored and waste time and not have fun. It’s my own personal h*ll.



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