Perspectives on Learning


You sit in front of a blank screen as you try to contemplate what to write about for your essay worth half your grade. The cursor is blinking at you. Exhausted, you try and hold your head up with your arm as you fight to keep your eyes open. A small humming noise coming from the air conditioning switches on. Chromebook keys clatter. And a feeling of anxiousness rushes over you. If you don’t complete this essay you won’t pass. Without passing you won’t graduate. No graduation, no job. No job, no money. Your life could come crashing down on you. Your head pops up. Fingertips sitting on the keyboard ready to type. A small noise goes off. The bell rings.

This is the reality of some West High students. Struggling to decide whether to do school work to gain that education piece or to rush through it and not put in your best effort in understanding the topic. “Going out into the world with a lack of education just sets you up for failure,” said Evan Zukin ’22. 

Zukin finds that schoolwork is one of the best and most accessible resources for learning. “I think not doing it to learn and just to drone through it, it’s just to put yourself at a disadvantage,” he said. Learning keeps your mind engaged and moving. You obtain experiences and face new challenges. 

Amira Qidwai ’22 work ethic varies depending on how interested she is on the topic. “I have looked at some of my schoolwork as just getting it done because the things I’m probably not interested in I’m not going to internalize it as much,” she said. Qidwai has found that it is harder to make connections between different classes without putting her full effort into it. “One of the biggest parts of high school I think that has been the most helpful is when I could connect the skills between different courses and that heightened how well I’m able to do my schoolwork,” she said. 

According to Derek Pennell ’24 staying attentive is a crucial point in being successful in school. “I feel like I don’t want to go to school, I tend to not pay attention in class or don’t focus or just do my own thing and not do any of the homework and just slack off, which leads to me doing worse on tests and not getting as much done with homework.” Pennell finds that recalling how his actions now greatly impact his future, for example being aware of what colleges are looking for, helps him in staying motivated.

Sometimes students see getting a good grade more important than understanding the topic. “A good grade in a class does not necessarily mean you have a grasp of the content, it just means that you’re good at working with the system to get the grade you want,” Peter Adams ’22 said. Busywork is a huge obstacle for some students to pass because they may comprehend the information but it is a struggle to bring themselves to get the motivation to complete it all. “There are some classes where I can do pretty well in, but it’s the homework that is really tedious for me.” 

Learning is essential and helps shape who you are but it’s up to you to decide whether or not you want to take the time to grasp the subject and better yourself for the future.

Screenshot 2022-02-21 3.42.23 PM.png