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NO ‘HO’LDING BACK: The Worth of a Letter

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The constant pressures of school often drain students of motivation. Flooded with plenty of work but little incentive to complete it, students may wonder: what is the purpose of all that effort? One problem lies in what students are led to believe education is for.

It all comes back to that dream that has been imposed on us since the beginning: college. We are told that our education in high school is all about getting colleges to accept us. Once we get in, our college degree will allow us to plop ourselves into a career, and then we’ll somehow be happy and successful. Unfortunately, this common view pushes true learning to the curb, preventing students from realizing the intrinsic value of education itself.

Ultimately, it’s important not to forget the real reason we go to school. We don’t study history so we can rattle off dates, nor do we read novels to impress our bosses by knowing the “themes.” To me, education does actually have a purpose and it’s not just to get into college and find a job. We educate ourselves so that we can discover our passions, ignite the fires inside us and strive to be people who will improve society. We study to broaden our world, to make sense of the enormous assortment of people, viewpoints and ideas that compose it. In comparison to the learning, the letter grades are largely insignificant.

School should not just feel like a struggle to earn grades or to satisfy colleges. Before anything else, students should consider the reasons why they study, or else it will all seem meaningless.

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