What School Should Mean to You

School isn’t just about grades and work. There’s much more to it.

Whenever you think of school, the majority of the thoughts that come to mind are usually negative. For example, if you’re like me, you might constantly be stressed about deadlines and exams, possibly craving more breaks and long weekends. But I think school isn’t just about tests, grades and rules. I think there’s way more to it.
You might have enjoyed school at a younger age, but maybe now, it’s your worst nightmare. When we were in elementary school, there was a lot of time for playing and enjoying our childhoods, but as we grew older, academics started to become a priority. This means less time for playing and more time for studying. Because of this, our views of school change as we progress through years of education. It’s why we dislike every day of the week except for Saturdays. But have you ever thought about what school does for us? Do you know how many doors of opportunities it opens? Do you ever take the time to appreciate it?

Since it’s Teachers Appreciation Week, I would like to thank the teachers first. On behalf of my fellow students, I can tell teachers that we appreciate everything you’ve done for us. You see, our teachers put so much effort and time into making sure we can succeed. They encourage us, empower us with knowledge, advise us— all of which can help each and every one of us meet or surpass our goals. As a wise friend once said— and I really couldn’t have said it better myself— “We wouldn’t have doctors or lawyers without teachers.” I believe this is true.

We wouldn’t have doctors or lawyers without teachers.”

Teachers make a crucial part of our lives and sometimes it’s easy to forget that. I don’t think teachers get the credit they deserve. Without them, we might not know half as much as we do now.

School, in general, not only improves our intelligence, but also helps us feel like we’re part of a community. Our friends, teammates, classmates, we’re all part of one great circle, and we wouldn’t feel that kind of unity if it weren’t for school. I don’t think I really understood that until now.
If being stuck at home, without any social interaction for over a year has taught me anything, it’s that the time you spend around your friends should be cherished. It really hit me hard when I went to school for ISASP testing. That was the first time I’d been in a classroom at West High. I was not expecting to feel an overwhelming amount of excitement. I don’t know why, but suddenly, seeing people around my age, feeling the buzzing energy in the building, just being in a school environment, it made me feel… thrilled.

It’s not something I can explain that easily, but meeting people that you haven’t seen for more than a year makes you feel kind of happy inside. At least that’s how it made me feel. I guess I forgot what it felt like, being able to talk to people without a screen in between or the worry that Zoom might decide to kick you right out of the conversation. The social interaction school provides for us is truly something to be thankful for.
Lastly, I would just like to point out that there are some children in the world who aren’t able to go to school. We’re lucky that we have this amazing portal to opportunities and outcomes. So maybe the next time you think about school, you won’t think about the amount of stress it releases or the hours of sleep it takes away from us. Maybe instead, you’ll think about all the ways it has and will help us. Maybe you’ll think about all the great people you’ve gotten to meet because of it. And maybe you’ll feel grateful.