Why I Don’t Enjoy School Like I Used To


By Sana Kadir

Pretend you’re a college admissions officer. You have two applications in front of you. One of them reads “3.6 GPA, mostly A’s, and in mostly honors classes” and the other says “2.9 GPA, mostly B’s and C’s.” Who would you choose? Most would go for the first student.

What the college admissions officer didn’t know, however, was the first student cheated her way through high school, copied every test, and paid others to do her homework and essays. The second student worked very hard, but after his single mom lost her job, he had to step up and take on a job himself. Their futures depend on a couple of numbers and pretty much nothing else, and that’s one of the reasons the education system is unfair.

Some people might be reading this article assuming that I’m trying to bash school because I might be doing poorly and I’m in my teenage rebellious stage. Don’t get me wrong, Niles West has provided me so many opportunities. I’m not ranting against my school, I’m merely upset by the way kids all across America are being taught. There was a longitudinal study that showed 98% of children in kindergarten score at a genius level in divergent thinking or creative thinking. As those same kids got to age 10 that number reduces to 30% and at 15 years it plummets to 12%. I believe the reason for that is because school makes you believe there’s one answer, that when you solve for x that’s the only solution.

How is it that kids in America are literally finding every possible way to not come to school? They ditch class, call themselves out of school pretending they’re a parent, or even write themselves a pass so they can come 10 minutes late to class. Then you hear stories about Malala Yousafzai in Pakistan who took a bullet to the head just so she could go to school.

Where is the disconnect? Why do I hear students joking, “I’m gonna be a stripper, school is too hard,” or “forget it I’m gonna be a drug dealer”? Halfway across the world kids are literally dying to go to school. It’s one thing if only a couple kids are not enjoying school, but if a majority of kids claim they dislike school, there HAS to be a problem.

A New York Times article “Rethinking College Admission,”  mentions how colleges look at AP classes as a bonus, but what happens to schools that can’t afford the curriculum? Do the top students sink all the way to the bottom? Now students have a lower chance of getting into a college they want because of a matter that is completely out of their hands.

We’re raising kids in a system where numbers are the only things that matter. I’ve never understood why adults are surprised when kids turn out to be money driven when their entire life they were taught the larger the number, the better. We’re subliminally taught the more money you make the more successful you are. Whenever someone asks me what I want to be and I say I want to go into journalism, I’ve gotten the response, “Why journalism? Writers don’t get paid a lot.” Has it really come to that people choose to pursue something just because it makes more money, not because they enjoy it? I would rather make a low amount of money and work happily every day than making a lot of money and being miserable.

To all the people reading this, please remember grades don’t define your level of intelligence. Just because you don’t get perfect grades doesn’t mean you won’t succeed in life. There are so many different types of intelligences, not just being book smart. There is physical intelligence, musical intelligence, spiritual intelligence, and many more. Okay so maybe you don’t have the quadratic equation memorized like John in your math class, but can John name every single part of a car engine like you can? Always keep in mind education isn’t always what’s being taught in your textbook.

To me, being successful doesn’t have anything to do with how much money one makes. To me, being smart isn’t only being a lawyer or doctor, but it can be about how someone is the best hair stylist in Skokie, Illinois. To me, straight A’s doesn’t make one a genius, and B’s, C’s, D’s, or even F’s doesn’t make one stupid. My dream is that one day the people who determine the future of the youth realize this, too.