What They Don’t Teach Us

Written on November 11th, 2013

What they don’t teach us in school is this: we are never told how to get out of bed the morning after everything has gone wrong, or how to use our sewing needles from seventh grade FACE to patch up our mistakes. They don’t tell us what it will be like the first time you lose a best friend, or the second, or the third. We know exactly how to handle ourselves in textbook situations, but they don’t have equations for the way your chest caves when you skirt the eyes of somebody who used to be your world, and no formula exists to explain why people can be vicious and days can be long and memories can twist into unrecognizable creatures. There may be a law of gravity, but there isn’t a law of growing up. There are no study sheets that tell you which bridges are about to burn. You can’t know the rate of decay of a relationship, and probably no theories you come up with will ever explain why someone walked out of your life. You can do everything right and still end up with nothing but a headache and bruised hands because there is no consistency in life the way there is consistency in math. Because nothing is as routine as a seven hour day in classrooms would have us believe.

They don’t teach us this in school, but we still learn. We teach ourselves. Life does not give us lesson plans, but it has no shortage of tests and we were made to be challenged. I have never had a lecture on how to get through a night of over thinking and no expert has ever told me the way my cheeks will burn when I am trying to be strong, but I have learned anyways. We walk through the hallways with books in hand and thoughts in our heads and somehow we survive, day after day, making connections and leaving scars and coming out of it knowing much more than any AP course could offer. Reading is important and study skills are to be applauded and academics may help pave the way for our future successes in life, but the true mark of learning has much less to do with textbooks and much more to do with living. Sometimes problems do not have answers, and you won’t always be asked to raise your hand to speak. The most important things we might remember from high school are the ones that have nothing to do with school at all.