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Why school matters


it’s my turn this week to write a little blog, and I decided to start my blog with telling you all something, which you may not want to hear, but probably have heard over a thousand times already: School is important. 

Because the truth is, in order to get where you want, to reach the goals you want to achieve, you have to walk there yourself. And you might be aided along the way by others, you don’t have to do it all alone, but in the end it is you who has to do it, with your skills and your knowledge. And that is what school is for. It's not there to be a burden on your carefree life. School is there to help you to achieve your goals. Don't see it as a necessary evil, see it as an opportunity, a tool, a means to an end to get you where you want to be.

And if you don't know where that is yet? All the more reason to do your best, so you keep all options open. Education opens doors. High school is the first step in getting you where you want to go, to get you into college or whatever other educational system is available for you. And of course you don't have to excel, you don't have to have the highest grades in class, not everyone can or wants to do that, and that is perfectly fine, because that’s not the point of school. It's not about being better than others, it is about being the best YOU can be.

School is not something you do for others, it is something you do, or should be doing, for yourself. It's not about getting into a fancy college or a prestigious university just for the sake of it or because others expect you to, you do it because it is what you want. And maybe you don't want to go to college at all. Maybe you just want to graduate from high school and go work in a café and that's it. Well, go for it, but please do get that high school diploma. Because as sure as you may be right now that that is what you want, you might change your mind one day, you might want to become something else, and then you know you can, thanks to that diploma.

Now, I know that sounds all pretty easy, and I also know that school, especially high school, can be anything but easy. Leaving algebra and physics for the incomprehensible mess they are, school is also a challenge because it is never just about studying. It is also about social interaction, about social development, about growing up, both through good and - unfortunately - bad experiences.

I spent six years at high school, and only the last year - when everyone started to grow up a bit and became more mature - did I have a year of which I can say that, yes, it was a good year. The other five years were downright horrible. I have been severely bullied and I have felt terribly alone, I love learning but I hated school, there were days that I dreaded waking up on week days because it meant I had to go to school again.
For me, high school was an experience that has definitely influenced me as a person both for the better and for the worse; it made me stronger, it taught me to stand up for myself and for what I want, but at the same time it broke parts of me as well, and now, almost five years later, I am still working on mending some of those parts back together.

I am telling this, because the point I want to make is that as shitty as those years were, I never, not ever, let all this keep me from studying hard and trying my best. I wanted to go to university, and if six years of enduring high school were what it took to get there, then that is what I would do.

And naturally it is important to look after yourself as well, keep a balance between ambition and what is good for yourself, for your own health, both mental and physical. And the fact that I chose to stand my ground against bullies and setbacks for six years on my own doesn't mean that everyone should do so in the same way, because not everyone simply is the same. But the important thing is to not give up on your dreams, not to give up your chance on the future you want, not to drop out of school for whatever external reason. Fight back, and if you are tired of fighting on your own, ask help, or look for other options, maybe another school or a new class, but don't walk away from your dreams.

School is not a burden imposed on you to torture you. It is your ticket to your future. Don't let anyone or anything take that away from you.

- Dieuw

What are your dreams? What do you hope will be your future? How do you try to make them come true?


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