Be cool and stay in school, enlightenment is key to living a happy life

By Eshlin Vedan. Eshlin, 18, is in his final year of high school. He lives in Durban, South Africa.


I strongly believe that every teenager should strive to put maximum effort into his or her school studies as it opens the door to a plethora of opportunities and makes one more enlightened. However contrary to many people’s beliefs, I do not believe that school necessarily determines one’s future success or failures. From personal experience I have noticed that many teenagers who struggle in high school begin to lose hope of a bright future and start to underestimate themselves. I believe that every human being is capable of doing extraordinary things that they are not aware of. They just have to identify their talent, which may take a long time, and cultivate it.

Why exactly should people work hard at school?

Nelson Mandela once said that “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Think about it, this statement is indeed correct. It is ultimately education which is helping society to rid itself from racism, cultural misunderstandings and slowly but surely move towards world unity. Without education, much of the cutting edge technology that we have today would have not been available. Life would have been difficult and very frustrating.

The power of education

Education is a tool which can help people from impoverished backgrounds rise above their circumstances and create a better life for themselves as well as their families. School is a platform which intends to provide education to the children and youth of society.

School is essential for the proper functioning of society. It is where we derive knowledge which is most essential for our lives. It is where we learn a second language, not to discriminate, do sums, read and differentiate right from wrong. A lot of people are not fans of the school system but let us imagine a world without any formal school structures.

Why do we need schools in society?

Life would have been frustrating, chaotic and the world would have been making very little development if any. We would have had no doctors, engineers, and teachers, people who are essential for the ever developing world. Many people also would have not realized the importance of caring for one another as they would have not been taught etiquette, injustices such as drug usage and discrimination would have been greater.

One of my former teachers used to often tell my class that, “50% of the purpose of school is to mould you into a good adult and the other 50% of its purpose is to educate you academically”.

Being a hard worker and high achiever in school will increase your chances of attaining success and living a happy life. In my life, I have come across many people who judge others based upon their level of education and academic abilities. Unfortunately not everyone is capable of achieving the same level of academic success. People often look down upon those who are not academically gifted. However, they fail to realize that these people who are looked down upon because of their academic ability can sometimes achieve more in other disciplines such as sport, performing arts and other areas.

These children who are looked down upon often develop a low self-esteem and low expectations for the future. They fail to ever realize their true capabilities and sadly do not make the contributions that they could have.

Being a high achiever in school is a good thing and makes the road to success much easier. Think about all of the successful people that you know off in your community. I am pretty much sure that not all of them may be well educated, but most of them probably are. As much as people do not like to admit it, success as a whole in life depends a lot upon luck and being at the right place at the right time. Luck also has a role to play in one having a high level of intelligence or sporting ability as they are largely based upon genetics which is God given. One can however make luck easier to attain. For instance, taking part in more competitions is more likely to generate wins. I feel that nearly everyone, regardless of attributes, can achieve success through proper organization, time management, and dedication. I am not the most gifted student or sportsmen, but through adhering to those principles, I have managed to accomplish things that I never thought I could.

There are some things that just cannot be learnt in a classroom

Think about two of the most prominent sporting names of this generation, Michael Phelps and Cristiano Ronaldo. One of the reasons why they are almost flawless sportsman is because of their adherence to a set routine without failure. Phelps was known to hit the swimming pool six days a week and Ronaldo is known to team-mates for being a hard worker in soccer training and leaving the training field last.

Children need to ensure that they understand their capabilities well and choose subjects correctly going into high school. As mentioned before, not everyone is capable of achieving the same academically. Physics, chemistry and mathematics are not subjects which everyone is capable of doing at a high level. Parents often put pressure on their children to take these subjects as they open the door to good careers. If a child cannot cope with these subjects, it can cause heaps of unwanted stress, and destroy one’s sense of self-worth. Kids who cannot perform well at harder subjects such as physics and maths despite abundant tuition lessons should opt for easier subjects instead.

Academic ability and personality are clearly two different things altogether. I have come across people in school who have judged the personality of others based upon their academic ability. In my opinion, such cases are equivalent to judging people based upon their natural soccer playing ability.

There is absolutely no correlation between intelligence and personality. Good and bad people come from all IQ levels.

Education will certainly continue to play a major role in the world’s future development. In conclusion school does not make or break you. One’s success depends upon one’s urge and drive to succeed.

It is better to use one’s skills and talents in a way that benefits humanity instead of earning a lot of money and keeping the money to oneself.

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