What School Doesn’t Teach You

“Dear Diary,
Day uhhh, 60? I still haven’t used principles of integration in real life, and I still don’t know how to handle and invest money.”

Most of the things I learned in school are useless in real life. Why? I don’t want to study physics. I don’t wanna pursue chemistry. I don’t want to make a living out of mathematics. You’re probably thinking that I should stop complaining and drop these subjects, right? I can’t because that’s the combination I need for universities. Think about it, why do you have to limit yourself with just one thing? What if you wanted to be a doctor, an engineer, and an artist? Well, you most certainly cannot pursue all of these because a). You can’t study these many subjects and b). Having the stamina to study and complete multiple degrees is not very easy to come by.

Let me get one thing straight though, there’s a subtle difference between education and schooling; going to a school does not always mean a person is educated, it just means they’re literate. Look around, you will find a considerable number of people unaware of the world, dwelling in their closet of grades.

With that said, why do these billionaires become, well, billionaires? What makes them stand out? What makes the 1% the 1%? I mean, it most certainly isn’t just their school— it’s also their education. By that I mean, the way they think and act. Let’s take a few examples, just to keep things clear. Bill Gates, the mind behind the world’s most common and accessible operating system, Windows, reportedly (backed by a statement made by his wife in an interview) spent three consecutive days working. Can you imagine that? We can’t even browse Instagram for three consecutive days. Similarly, let’s take Mark Zuckerberg. He spent his days locked in his dorm, trying to make a revolutionary website, Facebook, on a laptop that barely worked, renting a server from his monthly allowance thus sacrificing his grades and potentially, his health. See, when we look at these people, most of us would see nothing but fancy cars and huge mansions received only through the manipulation of money, which is sadly true in most cases. But, for example, look at Elon Musk. He slept on a couch with his brother in a rented out office space with no bathroom just so he could get PayPal up and running. I’m not saying that they’re ideal, angelic human beings, but their journey to success is something to be inspired from. The sheer force of their determination is scary if you ask me.

Getting to the topic, in all of these examples we see these individuals working in their personal capacities, without their colleges or universities involved. Why? There isn’t a single thing known to man that you can’t learn without going to school. We live in an age where you can learn anything if you have the passion for it. I’m only 17 but I can make video games, edit videos, design graphics, and bypass simple online security protocols. If I waited for school to “teach” me these things, it wouldn’t be as fun. When I want to do things, that is when I truly learn skills. At times, being in a classroom feels like nothing short of being chained for me. It feels like someone has put a cap to my true potential so that I may act in accordance with what other people view me as.  And the things I mentioned above are not even half of what I want to do. What I’m trying to say is: don’t condition yourself to the limits of a classroom. When you go home, spend your free time being curious, taking advantage of the internet and learning to act like a winner. Winners aren’t people who succeed, they’re just people who never gave up (totally not a quote I found on Facebook). School is only going to teach you how to be a good candidate — just keep that in mind.

So we come to the point, why should you be an entrepreneur? Before we get to that, this certainly does not mean that you should leave school. School provides you with a base that few can challenge, it gives a backup and disciplines you so that you may learn to work under constraints such as time. In school you get to interact with other like-minded individuals, which, in my opinion, is a pivotal experience that teaches us many lessons. But here’s the catch, do you really want to be constrained? Do you really want to just go to school?

Being an entrepreneur does not mean being a money-driven businessman, it means that you have a drive to invent or innovate, that you want to show the world your true potential. It means that you take charge of yourself, not only for your own freedom, but for the betterment of the world. A job may be fun to an extent, but once you realize that all your hard work goes into the pockets of someone else, and that you’re trapped doing the same things everyday, you begin to understand how important independence really is. You begin to realize that innovation is essential, and that your work must be defined by you only. That is where entrepreneurship comes in. You have an idea? Show it to the world. There isn’t going to be more of you in this world, so make sure this time is well used, after all, failure is better than regret. It’s time you take your own steps, and realize your worth.

Sadeem Sajid
TLC Contributor

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