Hi, my name is Carly Bertolozzi. I’m sixteen, attend Carlmont High School, and am wondering why I dedicate almost my entire life to getting into the “college of my dreams,” a college which I have no idea what the name, location, or reason I want to go there is yet.
Nowadays, it seems as if all I do is homework, study, and now that I am a junior, prepare for the SAT. I promise this won’t be the usual teenage rant about how life is unfair and the amount of work done to earn a spot in a decent college is outrageous, however most of the time that’s how I feel (which I guess comes with being a Junior in high school). Instead, I want to focus on the skills necessary to succeed in life that textbooks cannot teach you.
I do agree that high school educations are extremely important, and college diplomas are similarly vital. However, our world is filled with successful people who have dedicated almost the same amount of years to education as I have.
Amadeo Peter Giannini (founder of Bank of America), Charles Culpeper (CEO of Coca Cola), Dave Thomas (founder of Wendy’s), Frank Lloyd Wright (famous architect), Hyman Golden (co-founder of Snapple), Simon Cowell (TV producer, music judge), Tom Anderson (co-founder of MySpace), and many more didn’t even graduate high school.
So my question is: How have all of these people, who lack the amount of education that society practically forces upon you, become successful?
It seems to me that, although education is often key, there are other things that a person needs in order to thrive.
Considering all these people dropped out of high school, one must assume their parents were probably not very thrilled, but allowed them to proceed with dropping out anyways.
Nowadays, many parents are so controlling and overprotective that their kids are not able to make important decisions without interference. I do not condone dropping out of high school; however, if a child is not allowed to make mistakes and live, then he or she will never be prepared for the real world.
Sheltering your child is always good, because obviously a sixteen year old does not know all there is to know about life and how to live it. But keep in mind all you parents, we’re sixteen, not six.
We will lie to you in order hang out with our friends, we will try alcohol before the legal drinking limit, we will sneak out, and we will do everything we can to have fun.
But, if you instill the proper values in your adolescent, he or she may or may not get into trouble, but in the end they will always pull through it, emerging a surprisingly responsible young adult.
On the other hand, if there is so much shelter that our escape plans can’t possibly break through your wall of paranoia and overprotection, we won’t learn.
Sure, we’ll have the area of a triangle, the proper way to write a persuasive essay, and the laws of Isaac Newton under our belts, but what good is that going to do us in the real world if we haven’t learned lessons of the street, such as the way to avoid a dangerous situation or how to fight for what we want through hard, back-breaking work.
The saying “kids will be kids” came from somewhere, but sometimes it takes a good parent to allow that to happen.
Childhood is about growing, making mistakes, and learning. Do not deprive your kids of learning how to be independent or self-sufficient. Instead, encourage it, but quietly watch from the sidelines, so if the road gradually shifts towards the edge of a cliff, allow your child the fear, adrenaline rush, and the ability to arrive at the best plan of action before stepping in and guiding them back towards the safety zone. Otherwise, when you are not there to guide your teen, they may take a step too far, unable to make good decisions because their lack of experience is pulling them down.
We need experience, street smarts, and common knowledge of the world in order to survive in it, not just textbook education, however important that may be.