Too many times I have heard these words: “I hate school.” These words seem to be muttered by every student I have met at one point. Students full of stress and boredom would express their hatred for school whenever and wherever they could. Even I’m guilty of saying this plaguing statement. It seems that students’ interests in school are diminishing by the day. I have noticed students be completely discouraged from learning in school. This hardly seems good for anybody. Students should love to learn and be excited to discover, so why is there so much disdain for it?
Though I may not be able to answer for everyone, I can perhaps give some insight about students growing hatred for school. Growing up, I hated school (or at least that’s what I told myself). I hated learning especially. Yet, I enjoyed socializing and recess. However, not even those two things encouraged me to go to school. I did everything I could to avoid going to school and my hatred was shared amongst my fellow students. The worst my disdain for school was when I was in public school. That’s when I had the worst experiences and the most dull explanations. In fact, I remember conversations with teachers and students going like this:
A student would ask, “Why are we learning this?”
“So that you can complete highschool.” the teacher would answer.
“And why should we complete highschool?”
“So that you can go to college.”
“Why should we go to college?”
“So that you can get a good paying job.”
“And why should we get a good paying job?”
“So that you can make money and survive.” Yep. That was the kind of conversations the students and teachers would have when asking why we are doing something. Other replies to the question, “What is the point of doing this?” was: “I don’t know.” and “You’ll need it if you are going to be an engineer, or a scientist, or whatever job requires this.” These were absolutely miserable replies to receive, but I believe they give some insight as to why students say they hate school. Children are growing up believing that the only point to learning is to get a job so that they can survive. It’s a very empty and dull environment if that’s what kids are being taught. This leads to kids thinking that some subjects are useless like math and history, and that learning is only about survival. It also has a dangerous impact on kids where grades mean everything. Children start to believe their value comes from how good of grades they are getting and from their future jobs. This is completely wrong and upside down; this is not the truth about learning and not even by a little.
I myself hated school, but today is different, in fact, it’s been different since 8th grade. My perspective of school changed in 8th grade and it’s all thanks to one person (or three if you want to get technical): God. He changed the way I viewed school, my grades, and my value. Ever since 8th grade, when I started attending a Christian school, I have been passionate to learn. I was surrounded by wonderful students who were excited to learn and wonderful teachers excited to teach. Through them, Christ was able to instill a passion to learn in my heart and mind. Unlike my previous schools where I was taught the sole purpose of learning was to get a good paying job, this school taught me that the purpose of learning was to glorify God. Learning is meant to equip you for the future so that you can be a blessing to others. Learning is meant to be life giving. Learning is meant to deepen your relationship with God. Just as I have been given a passion to learn, I want others to discover and be given that same passion.
It is far too easy to dislike learning in this society, but God wants us to love this wonderful gift He has given us. Sometimes we ask why we are learning something we may never use. Often we get unsatisfactory answers that dull our perspective of learning. However, God wants us to discover His world, even the parts we may never use because knowledge and discoveries are blessings. They help us to grow and to value God’s creation. All of the wonderful things in this world reflect God, even the things that may seem useless to us such as the more advanced maths. Yet, all these things that He has made develop us as His image bearers. I have hope in my heart that one day all people will be excited to learn. I want children to walk in curiosity and to wonder about the beautiful world around them.
Unfortunately, it can be hard to walk with excitement when we let the things of this world determine our value. Our value is not determined by our grades, what college we go to, and how successful we are in the future. The point to life is not to just survive. The point to life is to have a relationship with Christ, to be in His presence, and to belong to His kingdom. Through Him, we have value and that’s all the value we need. I am dreaming of a day when everyone walks with the Lord and seeks to discover all the things that He has made. Christians need to provide a message of life to the youth. We need to give a new understanding of the world to the youth. What the world needs is new eyes to see. And what they need to see is that God made a wonderful world fused with knowledge just waiting to be discovered. What children in school need is a passion to learn which can only come through Christ.
Eliya Brannan – 11th Grade