What to Do When School Doesn’t Make Sense.

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I’d been there on several occasions, when everything about school feels like a burden too heavy to bear. Several questions come to your mind on such occasions, like, what is the essence of all this hassles? Do I really need all these subjects to make it in life? Why don’t they just leave me alone to do whatever I like with my life? Do I really need education to make it in life, after-all Bill Gates dropped out of school and he’s today the richest man in the world? And so on…

When your mind starts to be bombarded with those uncanny rhetorics, hold on for a moment! Take a deep breadth, in…and then out!

Now be grateful that you have the opportunity to get education. Why?, because the consequences of not having education are grave and deadly. In fact, several millions of children across the world crave that opportunity, but due to one circumstance or the other they are deprived of the opportunity. Did you know Malala Yousafzai, a 19 year-old Pakistani activist? Malala suffered gunshots in the head because of her relentless effort at fostering right to education, which is against the prevailing customs in her society. Thank God she survived the attack and today she is a Nobel Peace Prize awardee.

Now, let’s deal with the reasons why school has become boring, difficult and burdensome as well as this notorious feeling of giving up. There are certain important things you need to know and do about this situation and yourself.

  • There Will Always Be Tough Times: Ask anyone who has become successful in life, they will tell you ‘it’s not easy’, but despite the uneasiness, they made it. Gold shines so attractively, but if it could talk, it would tell you how uneasy the refining process is. It has to pass through fire for it to be shinning.

    Don’t be deceived by the glamour you see on screens, every shining example has to pass through a refining process. The basic refining process is schooling, there will be heating, there will be hammering, there will be polishing, there will be scouring. All so that you could come out as the shining light that confounds the societal darkness; a solution to societal problems; a responsible citizen; a happy adult; and a nation’s pride.

    The harsh reality of life is, tough times are inevitable, in fact you would require a sufficient occasions of difficulties for you to develop intellectual and character muscles, necessary to take on the future challenges. Little wonder, that sport-men and military have to train everyday for them to develop physical strength and fitness so as to accomplish their goals. You also need to go through the rigor of schooling for you to develop intellectual strength and character fitness, so as to achieve your desired success. That’s how it is!

  • Tough Times Will Soon Be Over: Good news, isn’t it? No difficulty you are presently passing through is meant to be for long. It will soon be over! The duration of schooling may seem far-fetched, but trust me, by the time you get to the end, you’ll feel like – how time flies! I have been there! You’ll be so glad you didn’t quit, you’ll feel on top of the world. Indeed quitters never win!

    I can still remember how elated I was on my valedictory program day, 1997 at Ibadan City Academy, no more ‘bami Raji!’. The same bami Raji, my then mathematics teacher that I disliked while in secondary school is now my favourite point of reference. It was tough then, but today I feel like seeing him and appreciating him. I had lost the nostalgia of how it felt, when he flogged me for not doing my assignment, the pain had gone, all I could feel now is the gain. In the words of Dr. Robert Schuller, "tough times never last but tough people do."

  • You Are a Champion: A champion is someone who has the opportunity to quit but persists till he/she wins the contest. The legendary world champion in boxing, Muhammed Alli says "I hated every moment of training but I told myself, persist…" Truly, if he had quit, he would have died in obscurity. One of the attributes of champions is that, they talk to themselves, to situations and to anyone who cares to hear. Quoting Alli again, he says "I told myself I’m a champion, long before I became one."

    Champions talk like that because they feel what you are feeling. "It’s difficult, it’s boring, it’s tough, in fact I want to quit!" Every champion feel like that at some moments in their lives, that’s how I know you are also a champion. You believe what you tell yourself more than what anyone else tells you and what you believe forms the basis of your attitude and action.

    Once you begin to tell yourself – "I can do this! I’m a champion! This problem has a solution! I will overcome this difficulty! I’m unstoppable! I will understand this topic! I will pass this exam! And so on" – you are strengthening the basis of your attitude and action so as to supply you with energies required to overcome the situation. The energies come in form of emotional strength such as enthusiasm, courage, confidence, faith, motivation, passion, peace and so on. they also come in form of intellectual and mental strength such as concentration, focus, understanding, insight, curiosity, and so on.

    So, as a champion, you need to continuously tell yourself what you want to see and be insistent.

  • Assess the Situation: Still talking about what to do when school doesn’t make sense, if you assess the situation, you’d discover that it’s not everything that doesn’t make sense. Most probably, it is just one aspect or two that’s so crazy. You need to sit down and list it out – is it a teacher that is boring or strict? Is it a particular subject/topic that hard to crack? Is it a domestic issue that is nagging? Is it peer pressure, relationships, bully, abuse, racism, drug or fraternity issues?

    Once you are able to identify the particular matter, take it further by asking, what exactly in this issue is problematic? Ensure you download every disturbing elements in these matters onto your list and take the next step. Go ahead and list the possible solutions to each of the problem.

    For instance, if it’s a teacher – you can talk to the teacher; you can make your parents talk to them; you can change your attitude if their strictness is all for your good; you can convince your parents to change your school; you can get the school management to call the teacher to order; and so on. Out of all the possible solution on your list, one would be applicable. Just know that every problem has a solution.

  • Talk to Someone about it: A problem shared is a problem half-solved. Before you take any far-reaching decision, talk to someone you respect about it. It may be your parent or a counselor, let them know that you love your education and you want to be successful but for this situation. Don’t continue to suffer in silence to the detriment of your life career while there exists a solution to the problem.

    Back in my secondary school days, I had serious domestic issues and both my parents and my guardian were on one side while I was on the other side. Had I known how to talk to a counselor, I would have managed my schooling period better. If it’s a subject that’s giving you tough time, a counselor will be able to work with you to analyze the situation and develop possible solutions, whether you need to come up with a unique study style, take extra class or change your association.

    Surround yourself with the peers who possess the can do spirit, not proponents of easy-way-out! There are a kind of friends that tell you, "don’t mind them, let’s go and play." But there are a kind of friends that tell you, "guys, we can do this , let’s read a bit more!" Who you choose to gather with determines whether the senselessness of school would overwhelm you or you will overcome it.

  • Move Ahead: Finally my dear friend, look ahead at the celebration that awaits you at the end.Then go ahead with enthusiasm and gusto, consequently, you’ll soon become the head! Though it’s tough now, go ahead with school, you can do it, others have done it, I did it, we were not better than you when we did it, we only persisted, you too can. And you will soon celebrate. I will see you at the top!


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