Does School Prepare Us for Life? (According to Education Experts)

School has always been seen as the stepping stone to the real world, meant to teach us life’s lessons and prepare us for any challenges that come our way. But is that really true?

Does school prepare us adequately for the demands of real-world responsibilities, or does it only provide a limited view of what lies beyond its doors?

To shed light on this matter, experts weigh their opinion on whether or not school really prepares us for life.

Iqbal Ahmad

Iqbal Ahmad

Founder and CEO, Britannia School of Academics

I firmly believe that education does indeed prepare us for life

For many students, going to school is an essential aspect of life. It helps us prepare for experiences in the future by putting us through countless hours of challenging exercises and experiences in the classroom.

Many people have stated that kids are becoming more and more prepared for the later stages of their lives as a result of multiple technological advancements and a huge increase in the options available in today’s education.

In contrast, others think that a school’s monotonous routine limits students from discovering their inner selves. These pupils are never instructed to pursue their gifts, even though some may have had the aptitude to become a pianist or have a passion for the arts.

Instead, they are required to adhere to a curriculum; if they do not, they are told that they will fail in life. Is that so? Are you doomed to failure if you don’t succeed in school? Are all the folks who did well in school and received straight A’s leading prosperous lives?

Let’s look at a few of the many things school teaches us, which help us throughout our lives. The school days are crammed with information, covering everything from English to Mathematics. All of these involve teaching, memorization, comprehension, and testing of the students.

In addition to grades and exams, the school offers a broader curriculum that includes character development, citizenship training, and personality development.

I firmly believe that education does indeed prepare us for life.


The first lesson we learn at school is self-discipline. We develop the ability to follow directions and stick to a schedule. We also develop a sense of respect for time and punctuality.

In addition, we are taught how to plan and use our time efficiently. We also follow and respect laws and guidelines. Disciplined children will become disciplined adults and succeed in their future endeavors.

School strengthens our determination and perseverance

Additionally, the school strengthens our determination and perseverance.

We develop the ability to meet school requirements. We learn to adhere to deadlines and turn in our homework on time. We also gain the ability to handle pressure and stress.

Students learn how to overcome challenges in school. Character-rich students will be better equipped to handle future obstacles in their careers and personal lives.

Confidence and teamwork

Co-curricular activities are an integral element of a student’s life. They aid in shaping kids’ personalities and characters so that they develop confidence. They aid in developing the kids’ leadership abilities. Students get the ability to collaborate and support one another. They also pick up on positive principles.

Students gain the ability to put forth their best effort, participate productively, and accept both success and failure with grace. As students, we learn the values of fair play and good sportsmanship.

Additionally, co-curricular activities teach kids commitment, loyalty, and responsibility. When they are older, they will be dedicated to meaningful work and working effectively in teams.

Social interaction and diversity

The school is a little community. Regular social interaction is a great way to get ready for life in the outside world. Students have the chance to connect with classmates from other backgrounds, creeds, and races while they are in school.

They develop tolerance, acceptance, and understanding. The pupils can collaborate and socialize with one another while working, and it supports togetherness and encourage an open mind.

Now, let’s have a look at how school doesn’t prepare us for real and practical life.

Students who lack skills are unable to function in modern society

It is fair to argue that recent high school graduates lack any skill set. Therefore, they are unable to function in modern society.

If they learned anything throughout their high school years, it was from the part-time jobs they took on to supplement their income. Otherwise, the school makes no effort to teach the children the necessary abilities.

This is because there is nothing in those school texts that teaches students how to apply their theoretical learning in the real world!

After graduating from college, students’ core issue is a lack of understanding of how money functions.

You won’t learn how to handle, save, or make money through investments in any of your classes. Even after doing well in their math and financial courses, many students struggle with managing their funds.

Ashley Shannon

Ashley Shannon

Education Specialist, Satchel Pulse

Majority don’t believe schools are truly preparing students for life after education

Did you know that the average US student spends around 1,260 hours a year in school? Given that there are 12 years of obligatory formal education, the amount of time a student would have spent in school by the age of 18 is colossal. 

For this reason (and many others), school is a crucial part of a child’s life, and every child deserves to get as much value out of their education as possible. 

Related: Why Do Schools Exist?

In addition to the academic value, such as learning math or a foreign language, by the end of 12th grade, students should feel that their time spent in school has holistically prepared them for their next steps in life. But is our current education system achieving this?

What do studies show? A major aspect of life for most people is the world of work, and according to many employers, this is an area for which most students leaving our education system are not fully prepared. 

In 2021, the Econotimes published that two out of five employers believe school and college graduates are unprepared for employment. 

Similarly, 22% of students say that they are “not at all” prepared for future employment, while only 5% of people in the US believe high school graduates are prepared for work. 

These statistics show that the overwhelming majority do not believe schools are truly preparing students for life after education.

SEL gets young learners future-ready

These low percentages don’t just point to a skill deficiency in academics and work experience but rather a holistic view of a student’s career readiness. 

In a separate study, employers were asked which skills they deemed to be vital for young learners to gain so that they could thrive in the working world. 

79% of the skills ranked as the top priority for these employers are classed as social-emotional skills, such as communication abilities, ethics, punctuality, honesty, and teamwork (Cunnigham & Villaseñor, 2016). 

When asked about the most prominent skill gaps they’ve experienced when hiring, 42% of the skills mentioned are also classed as social-emotional.

These results are clear indications that in order for schools to prepare students for life truly, they must understand the importance of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). SEL is one of the most effective ways to get young learners future-ready and prepared for whichever direction they go in throughout their lives. 

When children begin developing SEL skills from a young age, by the time they reach adulthood, they are more likely to have the following: 

  • Stronger self-management 
  • Self-awareness
  • Responsible decision-making
  • Social awareness
  • Relationship skills

These abilities have been outlined by CASEL (the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning) as not only an integral part of a student’s academic journey but also their human development. 

Subsequently, when schools are not making efforts to nurture these critical skills in young learners, they’re also not truly preparing them for life.

Matthew Spaur

Matthew Spaur

Director of Marketing, EQuip Our Kids!

School prepares us for life, of course

At school, we learn literacy and numeracy skills, science and history, plus, if we’re lucky, some health and arts as well. We also learn about friendship and social status and peer pressure and bullying and struggle, and disappointment. All those are part of life, too. 

But better questions to ask would be:

  • Does school prepare us for all of life?
  • How well does school prepare us for life? 
  • How could school better prepare us for life?

School is not life

Because we are social creatures, most of our life, and most of our success in life, is not based on academics. 

Our life consists of relationships — with ourselves, with our teachers, with our colleagues, with our families and neighbors, and with fellow citizens. Our ability to thrive in those relationships determines a large part of our life. 

Relationships are especially true in the world of work, something for which school is supposed to prepare us. Daniel Goleman, the author of Emotional Intelligence: Why It Can Matter More Than IQ,” found that 90 percent of career success comes from our emotional intelligence, not academic intelligence. 

The National Network of Business and Industry Associations defines four categories of employability skills. Only one of those categories, Applied Knowledge, relates to academics. 

The other three categories cover Personal Skills, People Skills, and Workplace Skills. These vital non-academic skills include:

  • Integrity
  • Respect
  • Initiative
  • Decision making 
  • Problem-solving
  • Teamwork
  • Conflict resolution

Even straight-A students need these skills in order to succeed in school and work, and life.

Schools can teach life

How can schools address all those non-academic personal, people, and workplace skills that help us succeed in the workplace and, incidentally, in the rest of life? 

For decades, some schools have been including social-emotional learning, or SEL, in their curriculum. It’s a jargony name for the research-proven methods to teach the personal, people, and workplace skills we all need to thrive in school, work, and relationships. 

Schools that fully implement SEL see incredible results: 

  • Greater academic achievement
  • Lower disciplinary problems
  • Higher test scores 
  • Graduation rates

Research also shows that young adults who have received SEL instruction experience:

These adults have higher rates of mental and physical wellness, creative collaboration, and happiness. They even pass along their social and emotional smarts to their children. 

Not enough schools teach all about life

Currently, only a quarter of schools teach the personal, people, and workplace skills that cover the vast majority of our lives. That alone is tragic. 

Even worse, today’s youth are suffering through a national mental health crisis, according to the U.S. Surgeon General, the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, and the Children’s Hospital Association. 

If we want all our children prepared for all of life, then we need all our schools to start teaching all the skills needed in life. 

Many businesses and organizations say that they want workers with these great personal, people, and workplace skills. 

It’s time that businesses demand that all schools teach these skills, just like businesses have demanded that schools teach STEM skills. The first day on the job is a late start on learning personal and people skills. 

Parents, too, can demand that their schools teach a curriculum that covers all of life, not just academics. They’d find it’s a great reinforcement to the life lessons that they teach at home. 

Robert Wallis

Robert Wallis

Principal, Education and Curriculum Manager, Outward Bound Canada

Within the current system, it is difficult

Classroom schooling does a great job of training students in technical skills, scoring on written exams and tests, and preparing them for the jobs of the past. Still, there are much better alternatives for teaching students “life skills” — those skills that will be increasingly in demand in the future of work. 

As jobs become more reliant on life skills — social and emotional skills (SES) rather than technical skills, the mainstream education system has, in the last two years, tried to catch up to address this need, but within the current system, it is difficult. 

One issue is that we use a very old model of teaching — especially in high schools — where students learn separate subjects, sit within the four walls of a classroom, and are subject to the outside influence of “the schedule,” where bells force students to leave the classroom just as deep learning begins, or lessons are unnaturally drawn out to fill time. 

This type of learning is often contrived, can be irrelevant, and provides little opportunity for student engagement except for a very small percentage of students who respond to this type of learning.

As a result, employers consistently state that entry-level workers often lack the necessary social and emotional skills needed in the workplace. 

The Conference Board of Canada has even stated that it doesn’t help that the jury’s still out on whether social and emotional skills can be taught in the classroom. 

I agree; it’s incredibly difficult to teach social and emotional skills in the classroom, but it’s much easier outside the classroom: one proven, high-quality, and impactful education model is outdoor experiential education.  

Outdoor experiential education provides a fast-track method for acquiring SES by placing students in real-life, relevant situations — both physical and social. They work together to solve problems in situations for which there’s no set solution. 

Outdoor experiential education not only improves key “Skills For Life” but also provides additional benefits for mental health, physical health, nature connection, sensory stimulation, and opportunities for social interaction that are difficult to achieve in a traditional school setting.

Canada has a long and proud history of outdoor experiential education — and has some of the best “outdoor classrooms” in the world. 

Organizations like the YMCA, Outward Bound Canada, and numerous outdoor education centers have been delivering SES programs for over 80 years — programs that have seen significant budget cuts in recent years. 

So why are we trying to reinvent things when we already have the solution?

In a recent article, Natashia Singh and Outward Bound Canada called on the Federal Government of Canada to invest in community-led programs that provide outdoor educational and recreational opportunities to youth disproportionately affected by COVID-19, including historically and currently marginalized communities. 

In addition, they urged provincial education ministries across Canada to include outdoor education in their strategic plans and to make quality outdoor education programming available to all public school students. 

Perhaps then we can meet the needs of employers and students alike.

Joy Turner

Joy Turner

Vice President of Education, Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care

Character essentials learned at school prepare children for life

School prepares us for life from both an educational standpoint and a life skills standpoint.

In school, children learn more than just math, science, social studies, and writing; they learn character values and soft skills like developing empathy, problem-solving and creative thinking that will set them up for the future. 

In a recent Kiddie Academy survey of 2,000 parents, we found that parents’ early memories from school are more than just learning school subjects (56%). They’re also based on building friendships (55%), developing creativity (53%), the feeling of having a teacher invest in them (48%), and playing (47%). 

These results show us that beyond educational opportunities, the most formative moments of school are also social and emotional skill-building and creative growth both through play and instruction. 

Parents should look for a curriculum starting in early child care that combines important elements of hard and soft skill development. 

The survey also revealed that 73% of parents say they learned more life and social skills during their early school years versus their later ones. 

Children start noticing cues from birth, like when a baby smiles back at a caregiver, which makes it very important to focus on social development early on. 

Big life skills like learning to share, compromising, resolving conflict, making friends, trying again, and more are all things that are learned in a group environment. 

Even our youngest children in an educational childcare setting can learn life essentials that will help form the people they become.

Elizabeth West, M.Ed.

Elizabeth West

CEO, EWC Consulting

College prepares us for life’s challenges and teaches lessons for a lifetime

Since my expertise is in college, I absolutely believe that college prepares us for life’s challenges.

First of all, it is a pivotal time — I call it a 4-year incubation period for adulthood. You learn not only the academic skills necessary for living but the life skills needed to withstand disappointments and develop coping mechanisms.

College is the time to discover and practice the social and intellectual tools needed to be successful in life.

From your first day on campus, you are learning skills in emotional agility. Having to negotiate your personal space with your roommate — who may even be a perfect stranger — teaches you life skills such as resilience, collaboration, and conflict resolution.

When you first set foot in the classroom, you are considered an adult. You will be handed a syllabus that may include the assignments for the entire semester. This challenges you to lean into your time management skills as well as organizational strategies.

Related: 65+ Time Management Tips for Students

The academic agility piece may also come into play later on in your first year of studies as you may discover that your dream major may not be all it’s cracked up to be. College is full of these types of epiphanies and opportunities for repositioning.

There is no doubt that college is one of the toughest, most rewarding times in our lives.

There is a quote from the Today Show’s Al Roker, where he talks about how his life has been enriched by his college’s hands-on learning: “Every day…I use what I learned at Oswego State.” College teaches you lessons for a lifetime.

Kirk Hazlett, APR, Fellow PRSA

Kirk Hazlett

Adjunct Professor and Faculty Adviser, The University of Tampa

When done properly, education introduces you to “real life”

As a public relations professional who has now been teaching for two decades and preparing future communication professionals for “life,” this is a critical question that must be asked by anyone seeking advanced education and answered by those offering the opportunity. 

When done properly, education introduces you to “real life,” requiring responsibility on the part of the student to perform required tasks in a timely and correct fashion and, on the part of the teacher, requiring that lessons be designed to reflect the realities of the workplace.

As an educator, my main quibble has been with those of my colleagues who are only knowledgeable in the academic aspect of education, “listen and repeat,” with oftentimes no expectation of genuine understanding. 

I found my own classes as I was pursuing various college degrees to be much more beneficial when the person teaching that particular class had actually worked in that area, knew both the challenges and the opportunities and could present factual evidence of success.

My own classes are structured around a “This incident has occurred. How will you handle it? What will you do? And why?” 

I know, having observed my “disciples” as they have progressed over the years, that this approach prepares them for that inevitable day in the workplace when something unexpectedly goes “kerflooey,” and they are tasked by their supervisor with handling the situation. 

I have received countless “Kirk, this is what happened, and this is what I did!” emails as validation.

Yes, theoretical, “what-if” education is helpful in learning to problem-solve. But realistic, hands-on learning gives you the tools for success in the workplace.

Dr. Leena Bakshi McLean

Leena Bakshi McLean

Founder and Executive Director, STEM4Real

School can and should prepare us for life and our lived reality

There are talks about adding courses such as “life skills” or “how to do taxes.” While those courses are definitely needed, I believe educators can infuse life and real-world experiences into our everyday schooling. It is vital that we bring in the cultural capital that our students can contribute to their learning environment.

For example, if we are learning about photosynthesis, this can be an opportunity to connect to agriculture, farming methods, and even the Cesar Chavez Farmworkers Movement.

Not only does this provide a real-world perspective for students, but it also brings the learning to life. There is now an application for these concepts.

Educators must shift away from rote memorization and isolated facts and towards inquiry-based instruction that involves critical thinking and application.

We use the formula Standard + Hook + Society. We know that there is a list of standards that teachers must address, and we must marry those standards to an engaging hook that can captivate students’ interests.

We then discuss how to apply the learning in our society and the local community. This can be through project-based learning and even incorporating Youth Action into your lessons.

Students must see themselves in the learning, and the best way to do that is to create culturally responsive learning experiences. When students see themselves in their learning, they can truly apply their schooling to life.

Garrett Smiley

Garrett Smiley

CEO and Co-Founder, Sora Schools

Today’s school system isn’t properly preparing students for modern life

Unfortunately, I don’t think today’s school system is properly preparing students for modern life. We live in a dynamic, complicated, volatile world—much different than 150 years ago when the current school system was designed. 

As our civilization creates more technology, the consequences of our actions increase. Because of this newfound power and responsibility, our children face systemic, global challenges such as the climate crisis, nuclear proliferation, and the rise of misinformation. 

Related: How Important Is Technology in Education

Responding to them will require creative and collaborative leadership from the next generation of students. 

An education system built for the Industrial Revolution (mechanistic, time-bound work, memorization above problem-solving) is no longer suitable.

Instead, schools should be grounded in real-world problems and focused on fostering: 

  • Critical thinking
  • A growth mindset
  • Agency
  • A student’s worldview (meaning-making)
  • Curiosity

Jennifer Finley

Jennifer Finley

Content Manager, Academic Influence

The school lays the foundation for many essential skills in adult life

Many people have argued for years that school and college do not prepare us for life because we don’t always use the knowledge we learn in subjects like algebra or trigonometry later in life.

Although much of the content we learn in school is irrelevant, many skills, such as critical thinking, writing, and speaking in front of groups, are of great value for careers.

Even if you don’t use any specific knowledge in your career, the school lays the foundation for many essential skills in adult life, no matter what occupation or profession you choose.

Although school teaches us different things, it provides us with skills and information that can be used in virtually any career or life path.

Students with good interpersonal skills have successful careers

Developing interpersonal skills is important for students for better learning, expressing themselves to others, developing personality, and improving academics.

It is considered that students who have good interpersonal skills have successful careers and personal life too.

For example, by allowing you to work on multiple assignments and activities in your daily life, you develop both problem-solving, critical thinking, and time-management skills. As in many projects, you build communication skills if these are collaborative tasks.

School prepares you for life by teaching you and allowing you to practice and develop the following interpersonal skills.

Active listening

It is necessary for students to pay attention to their teachers in class. Students can only ask their teachers questions if they listen attentively when their teachers give notes and important points orally.

During your career, active listening helps you make informed decisions, resolve problems, and build trust with your colleagues. Understanding and absorbing all the necessary information is essential to a team or organization’s success.

Related: 50+ Reasons Why Listening Is Important

Public speaking

Various activities, such as debates, group discussions, recitations, and spelling competitions, allow students to improve their public speaking skills. They gain more confidence and can connect with others as a result.

In your professional life, being able to speak at events and conferences is a good way of building credibility and setting yourself up as an authority in your career.

Related: Why Is Public Speaking Important for Leaders and in Business?

Empathy and sympathy

The ability to understand and empathize with others helps students build good relationships with teachers, parents, classmates, and friends, and they also receive support from them whenever they face difficulties.

In the workplace, an empathic leader can boost productivity, morale, and loyalty by making everyone feel like part of the team.

Related: Compassion vs Empathy vs Sympathy. What’s the Difference?


When students participate in group activities, they should confidently participate in every task for their team and direct their team members accordingly. Any organization needs good leaders to build strong business teams.


Students must learn to communicate with their teachers to express themselves. This includes gestures, signs, facial expressions, and body language, all of which are part of communication.

Later in life, you can establish yourself as a valuable company member by communicating clearly at work to avoid misunderstandings and develop strong relationships with your workmates.

What about professional success? While they might not be as specific as coding or understanding taxes, these are highly desirable skills for almost every employer.

Critical thinking is crucial if you’re in a management or leadership position. Time management is an essential element of project management, which practically every worker needs to succeed.

Meeting deadlines

After high school, you’ll still have deadlines to meet, and many of those deadlines will overlap.

For example, you might have to pay your electric bill, phone bill, and rent all on the same day, or finish a project at work just before your family arrives, so you need to prepare them for them.

You begin developing this skill at school when you learn how to balance deadlines to complete tasks on time.

Critical thinking

You aren’t supposed to memorize useless information in school. The goal is to take the facts seriously, discuss them intelligently, and draw your own conclusions. You will use these skills when making important decisions, such as where to live and what career you should pursue.

Related: What to Do If You Don’t Know What Career Path to Choose?

To be more effective at their jobs, employees need to be able to use critical thinking skills to solve problems.


Your team’s performance may determine your success as an employee. Even though you may not like group projects in school, teamwork will always be a part of your life.

Attendance and being punctual

You’ll be better prepared for the real world and the responsibilities you’ll face as an adult if you establish the habit of attending school and being on time.

Even though people can learn and develop these skills in other aspects of their lives, like growing up with several siblings or practicing sports, it’s in the school where they have the most opportunities to learn and develop these and many other similar skills.

Beverly Gearreald

Beverly Gearreald

College Counselor and Community Manager, Transizion

The best schools and teachers do prepare students for life through the knowledge students gain, the skills they master, and the relationships they build.

The knowledge that is gained helps prepare students for life

One of my favorite teachers was my high school calculus teacher. I’ll be honest — I don’t use calculus on a day-to-day basis. I likely never will.

However, we had several weeks of school after APs were done, and my teacher knew there was no point in teaching us more calculus. So, he didn’t. He instead taught us about budgeting, compound interest, and other applied math skills.

While not every teacher has the time or the inclination to do this, he did. I’ll forever remember that he took the time to help every student he taught about personal finances, not just math.

The skills you will master are helpful

While in university, I learned how to titrate chemicals to determine the concentrations of solutions. I’ve never used that skill since.

However, my wet labs involved working with a partner. The curriculum required us to work on different elements of the same experiment simultaneously if we were to gather the necessary data in time. This ability to divide tasks cooperatively between two people is still something I use today.

Whether I’m working with a co-worker or parenting my son, using the power of two to achieve goals twice as fast is something I can attribute to my university education.

Relationships you build might prove useful

Networking is both overrated and underrated. There are people who claim networking is everything. It isn’t. Other people claim that networking is useless. It isn’t.

The fact of the matter is that somewhere between 70-80% of jobs are filled through networking. This usually means having the right skills and knowing the right person. Going to school, particularly undergraduate and graduate school is a great way to build that network.

Related: What Are the Benefits of Business Networking? (80+ Benefits)

Not everyone in that network will prove useful to you, nor will the relationships you build be useful to everyone else. However, knowing the right person can be an amazing gift in your life, and the school can definitely help you make those connections.

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

AJ Silberman-Moffitt

Senior Editor, Tandem

In many ways, school prepares us for life

Though my school days are long-past, for me, teaching others is never-ending. I often instruct people on accomplishing things that enable them to do their jobs.

Theoretically, this prepares them for life. But does a school do the same? Does school prepare us for life?

Elementary or primary school

The school experience for many children begins in elementary or primary school. Though some can go to nursery schools or daycare, many do not.

As kids enter school, they learn how to behave properly around others. Though the difference between right and wrong typically begins at home, schools continue to teach these lessons.

Additionally, grammar school is where the basics of education are taught. Reading, writing, and arithmetic are important subjects that students need to master to excel when they move on to their next school.

Students learn the basics of communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills.

Middle school

As children enter puberty, this frequently coincides with when they attend middle school. Their elementary school crushes have seemingly become more serious overnight.

These students pay more attention to the opposite sex while they continue to learn social acceptance in the process.

Further, they continue to learn the basics deemed necessary for them in life. At this age, they are progressing with their communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills.

High school

Now that these kids have become young adults, even becoming old enough to drive while in high school, they continue learning. In addition to their academics, they are more completely integrating the communication, problem-solving, and time-management skills they have learned.

How they manage these skills in high school will probably highly impact their behavior once they hit adulthood.

College and technical schools

Students who choose to continue their education at a college or technical school will study to become proficient in a subject. The skills they learn aren’t as broad as they are more focused on helping the student start a career in their field of study.

But what about the other facets that are necessary for life?

For example, we learn how to do basic math, but are all students prepared by their schooling to create and follow a budget? Even credit cards might not be fully comprehended by individuals.

Kids might know they can use a credit card to “buy now, pay later,” but do they fully grasp that the bill needs to be paid in full at the end of the month to avoid interest, which can accumulate quickly?

Though in many ways, our schooling prepares us for life, there are still ways in which schools cannot ensure students are fully prepared. This only means that there is room for improvement in the educational system where real-life scenarios can and should be inserted into the curriculums.

This will ensure that students are not only prepared academically for life but mentally as well.

Athena Kan

Athena Kan

CEO and Co-Founder, Dreambound

It depends deeply on what you put into it and the program you choose

Education is deeply important, not only for job prospects and career mobility but also for preparing you with essential life skills. The extent to which school prepares you for life depends deeply on what you put into it and the program you choose.

It’s important to go to school with an open mind and a heart for self-improvement. Here’s how school might prepare you for life:

You learn more about yourself

​When you get past high school into higher education, you can study virtually anything—there will be a degree or program for you. While the freedom might be exciting, it’s also overwhelming.

It might be the first time that you have to make a real choice for yourself that can have lasting impacts on the rest of your life. This is when you start to evaluate what you value in life and what you enjoy doing.

If you love helping people, being a Certified Nursing Assistant or working another role in healthcare might be the field for you; if you like working with your hands, maybe a career in welding or plumbing; if you like working with computers, you might want to pursue IT or computer science.

Beyond subject matter, you might realize that you prioritize work-life balance over pay or any number of other tradeoffs.

When you start your schooling in this area, you might even realize that you don’t like the field as much as you thought you did!

School is a period of self-discovery when you can learn more about yourself, the world, and what you care about. You’re given the freedom to make mistakes and change your mind. This is invaluable in the real world, where you don’t have as much of a luxury as to make the wrong choices for you without consequences.

You learn to work hard

School can be a tough time for many. Classes are fast-paced, you often have to study many things in tandem, and you don’t get as much support as you need in order to understand the material fully. This is when you learn work ethic.

When you have a midterm, final, or important homework assignment, you learn to sit down and focus on the material so you can be successful.

Work ethic can take you incredibly far in your life; not only is work ethic the characteristic employers value most, but work ethic also gives you stability where others might not.

You meet many different people

Depending on your degree and type of school, your school will bring together a plethora of people with different perspectives. For many, this could be the first time they met a person who looks different from them or shares different beliefs.

Being exposed to these different types of people and beliefs broadens your horizons, shaping how to think about the world and sharpening your mind.

School is also where you can make a lot of social mistakes. High school students, for example, are just figuring out their way around the world and are learning how to deal with conflict, people who dislike them, and how to be vulnerable with their friends.

Most people are around the same age and are working on growing themselves—giving you the space to figure out the same skills too.

Susan Gentile, RN

Susan Gentile

Nurse Practitioner, ChoicePoint

It’s up to us to keep learning after we graduate

School is an important part of our life. It gives us a safe place to learn, meet new people and find new interests. We also learn how to interact with others, solve problems and work together as a team. School is important because it teaches things that will help us later in life.

We learn new skills at school, meet new people and develop our personalities. We make friends and build memories with them. It helps us grow and develop, learn new skills and get to know more about the world around us.

We learn how to communicate with other people in different ways. This is how it helps us grow as people. But many people ask whether it really prepares us for life.

School is a good start, but it is up to us to keep learning and growing through our experiences in the real world. We can take advantage of this time in school by studying harder, working harder, and making new friends with different backgrounds than our own.

School will not always be able to teach us everything needed for success on the job market when we graduate from college or university, so it’s important that students continue their studies after they graduate from high school or college.

The consensus is that school doesn’t prepare us for life, so it’s up to us to keep learning after we graduate. We have to be able to learn new skills and adapt to change.

While there are many ways to learn and grow in life, school isn’t one of them. But what’s important is that we take this knowledge as an opportunity to make sure our future doesn’t consist solely of sitting in classrooms all day long with no real-life skills outside those learned at school.

Ryan Huggler

Ryan Huggler

Owner, Landscape Legends

School prepares us to do as we’re told

As students, we are told exactly what to do from the time that we’re supposed to be in class to what we have to do in the evenings (homework).

As a student that is still in college, I value education very much, but the traditional school system mainly just teaches people how to follow the rules.

This is great for creating good employees but not for teaching people how to think outside of the box and understand the core characteristics that it takes to get what you want in life outside of work.

You only learn how to put together budgets if you’re a finance major or take business classes, and you are never formally taught basic conversation skills. This may sound stupid, but the education system just expects us to learn on our own through trial and error.

I believe in learning through trial and error, but the whole point of going to school and learning from a teacher is to learn from their expertise and help us advance even further through society.

The education system is built for a certain type of person

If you want to be a doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer, schooling will 100% help you accomplish your professional goals, but for someone like myself who is driven to pave my own path, it doesn’t make sense.

90% of what I have learned about life that I deem valuable and actually helps me prepare for my future has been self-taught.

If skills like basic communication, basic handyman skills, cooking, self-defense, and mental health were the core of the High School curriculum, I believe students would be better suited for life. That’s not to say that Math and English, and history aren’t important, but couldn’t they be taught in a more applicable way?

Additionally, the average college teaches way too much fluff. I believe that a much more targeted approach to one’s major throughout all four years of college would be way more beneficial from a skill development perspective as well.

The average college graduate has knowledge of theory but no real experience that is worthwhile.

As a marketing student, I have taken one singular marketing class and only have two semesters of college left.

At the same time, I also run a marketing company for landscapers and have learned every applicable marketing skill that I know by spending $10k on more targeted training programs. Let’s cut the fluff.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of school?

The purpose of school is to provide students with a well-rounded education that prepares them for life after graduation. It is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills, and values they need to be successful adults.

School offers students opportunities to explore their interests and develop their individual strengths. Through courses in math, science, language arts, social studies, and other subjects, students gain an understanding of the world around them and learn how to think critically about various topics.

Additionally, many schools offer extracurricular activities such as sports teams, clubs, and after-school programs which give students a chance to pursue interests outside of academics while also learning important life skills such as teamwork and communication.

At school, students are taught important values such as responsibility and respect for others. They learn how to work together cooperatively and manage their own time effectively. Additionally, they are taught the importance of making ethical decisions and understanding different points of view on issues.

By providing an environment where these values can be nurtured and practiced, schools help students become more aware citizens who will make meaningful contributions to society in adulthood.

Does school adequately prepare us for life?

When considering the question of whether school prepares us for life, there is no single answer since it depends on individual experiences and perspectives. For some, school does provide a strong foundation for life skills such as problem solving, communication, and time management.

Additionally, many educational institutions offer courses in career exploration and guidance to help students make informed decisions about their future.

On the other hand, many people argue that the traditional approach to education in school settings fails to adequately prepare students for the realities of adult life. While core academic subjects may be necessary for success in college and employment opportunities, other life skills like financial literacy or managing relationships are not always taught in classrooms.

Moreover, schools are often focused on teaching students how to do well on assessments rather than how to think critically and solve problems creatively.

Ultimately, it is important to recognize that while school can provide an important basis of knowledge and foundation of skills relevant to adult life, there is also room for improvement when it comes to giving students the tools they need to succeed out in the real world.

In order to make sure students learn more than just academics but also key life skills such as resilience, self-advocacy and confidence building, schools should focus on providing tailored learning experiences that reflect the world outside of their walls.

Are there any benefits to the traditional school system?

The traditional school system has been around for a long time, and while it may not be perfect, there are certainly some benefits to it. Here are a few:

Structured learning: The traditional school system offers a structured environment that can be helpful for students who thrive with routine and predictability. They know when they will have classes, what subjects they will be studying, and when they will have breaks.

Socialization: The school system offers students the opportunity to socialize with their peers in a structured environment. This can be helpful for developing social skills, making friends, and building a sense of community.

Access to resources: Schools often have a wealth of resources that students can take advantage of, such as libraries, computer labs, and sports facilities. These resources can be helpful for students who may not have access to them at home.

Accredited curriculum: The traditional school system offers a standardized and accredited curriculum, ensuring that students are receiving a quality education that is recognized by colleges and employers.

Qualified teachers: The school system employs qualified teachers who have been trained to teach a specific subject or grade level. This can be helpful for students who need additional support or guidance in their studies.

Preparation for the future: The traditional school system prepares students for the future by providing them with the necessary knowledge and skills to succeed in higher education or in the workforce.

What can students do to supplement their education outside of school?

There are plenty of ways for students to supplement their education outside of school! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Read: Reading is a great way to learn new information and expand your vocabulary. Try reading books on topics that interest you, or explore different genres to see what you enjoy.

Watch educational videos: The internet is full of videos on a wide range of topics, from science and math to history and literature. Check out YouTube or other video platforms to find educational content that interests you.

Take online courses: There are many online learning platforms that offer courses on a wide range of topics. Some are even free! Try platforms like Coursera, edX, or Khan Academy to find courses that align with your interests.

Attend workshops or seminars: Many community organizations and businesses offer workshops and seminars on a variety of topics. Check out local events listings to see what’s available in your area.

Volunteer or intern: Volunteering or interning with an organization related to your field of interest can be a great way to gain practical experience and learn new skills.

Join clubs or organizations: Joining a club or organization related to your interests can be a great way to meet like-minded people and learn new things. Look for clubs or organizations at your school or in your community.

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