Important life skills gained outside the classroom

Busy schedules and involvement prepare students for future

Katherine Lindgren

More stories from Katherine Lindgren

The phrase ‘when will this ever be used in life?’ is commonly heard in high school classrooms as students struggle to memorize endless formulas and tedious information. While it may be true that the formula for area of a parallelogram will not be part of the daily adult work environment, there are many lessons to be learned in high school that will carry a student successfully through the rest of life.

That is not to say that performing well academically and making an effort to get the best grades possible are not critical parts of high school. After all, that is the whole purpose, to prepare students to be successful individuals the rest of their lives. What most fail to see, however, is behind all of the stress, hours spent studying and social turmoil, students are learning and will come away from the whole experience with life lessons that will strengthen character for years to come.

Here are some valuable lessons students should take from their four years of high school:

Be confident and pursue individuality, regardless of what others think. It is easy for students to feel limited in what they can be a part of or who they can be if they give significance to others’ opinions or the unspoken guidelines of social cliques. However, outside of the high school doors, there is nothing better than a motivated individual who is secure in who they are. High school, where students constantly face criticism from their peers, is the perfect environment to develop this mindset.

Nothing prepares students for rigorous college courses, internships and demanding jobs more than the hectic schedule of an involved high schooler. Having zero hour, a day of school, and sports practice, is already considered a full day. However, when finally arriving home at 7 p.m., students face tests to study for, assignments in every class, and multiple scholarship applications that are due. This does not account for making time for normal human necessities like showering, getting enough sleep and experiencing the social aspect of high school. During these chaotic years, students may question why they put themselves through this or just simply want to give up, but in reality it is teaching them that time management is the key to success, a skill that will be vital throughout the rest of adult life.

Finally, the world is filled with great opportunities, and there is no better time than now to experiment with new interests or discover what can be achieved. There are unlimited activities and clubs available that suit a variety of interests. Do not be the student who does not run for StuCo or a club office, or audition for the play. One will never know until they try, so take advantage of everything that comes along. Doing this in high school is the perfect start to developing a lifelong habit of being open-minded.

Keep these lessons in mind while navigating the remaining time in high school. Although it is tempting to give in to the misperception that high school does not prepare one for the real world, focus on developing confidence, managing time well and pursuing new opportunities. A whole new world is waiting on the other side of the diploma.

business teacher Jessica Crabtree