The Point: Take charge of your own education

Well, here we are, at the end of another school year. Seniors are going to graduate and (some of them will) move on with their lives into the wild blue yonder of the big ball of matter we call the world; the bottom rung of the food chain will be filled with new freshmen; and the rest of the grades will move up a number in their seemingly-endless trek to the end of Year 12.

In the ranks of all of these classes, though, one hears mumbling about how the students aren’t prepared for college and beyond, about how lacking many feel the quality of their education is. Opportunities for learning are limited by the school system, they say. College is going to be too hard and they don’t have any background in that kind of educational structure.

And let’s be real: they’re half right. No school system is perfect, and that certainly includes Duncan. Maybe the classes are too easy; maybe they don’t prepare students for college; maybe education state- and nation-wide has been sacrificed on the altar to the test score gods.

So how does complaining do anything about that?

The disgruntled comments of students and sometimes, teachers do nothing to solve the problem of education quality. Complaining is not a viable tactic to bring about change; indeed, it is only a viable tactic to get someone elected to Congress. Rather, if a person or group wants to bring about change, they need to take action.

However, bringing about large-scale change can be challenging, especially when interest groups or officials or any form of government are involved. Changing the system is hard.

The other thing students complain about, though that they aren’t prepared for life beyond the walls of ol’ DHS comes with no such excuses.

The education one receives depends solely upon how much work each individual puts into it. If a person really tries to learn, genuinely cares about how much information they are taking in and processing, then their education will naturally exceed that of a similarly-intelligent individual who doesn’t care.

Truly caring about an education and attempting to improve it overcomes just about any obstacle that can stand in one’s path of knowledge assimilation. Bad teachers, limited course materials, a busy schedule all of these can be overcome with enough caring and effort. Even one’s own intellectual limitations can, to a degree, be transcended by a mind willing to truly try hard to learn.

Yes, certain factors can make learning hard. However, with the multitude of resources at every student’s fingertips due to the Internet, textbooks, sympathetic teachers, public and school libraries and more, every student realistically has access to more than enough information about virtually any subject to be able to educate themselves about it.

Therefore, complaining that the school system has failed to properly educate someone is simply misguided, ineffective and downright unethical. One should not complain until they have literally no way of fixing their situation, and there are a multitude of easily-accessible ways to fix the problem of substandard knowledge and ill-preparedness.