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Why Do We Have to Learn This Stuff Anyway?

I love this question. It comes up a lot when I am talking to middle school and high school students about the importance of staying in school and continuing on to college. “Why do I have to learn this stuff? I am never going to use it again for as long as I live!”Student Bored

I got this question once when talking to a group of students and there seemed to be some agreement with the questioner. So I asked him if he played sports. He said that he played football. So I asked the whole group who played sports and nearly everyone raised their hand. “How many here have ever done push-ups in practice?” Once again, nearly every hand went up. I asked again, “How many have ever been to a football game where the referee stopped the game and said “ok, let’s see who can do the most push-ups.” They all laughed and thought that would be silly. Of course it would. But everyone here has done push-ups to get ready for the game. “That’s what school is” I said. “School is doing push-ups to get ready for the game. You will probably never play a sport where you have to do push-ups during the game but we all do them to get ready.”

Cap and GownThey got it. School is push-ups. School is getting ready. School itself is not the game. School is not what we will do for the rest of our lives. The more push-ups we do, the more ready we are for the game. The more school we get, the more we are ready for the rest of our life. Statistics show that with more school, we will be healthier, have more career choices and make more money. Push-ups are not always fun but they sure do help us play the game. Same for school.

Push-ups, anyone?  Get it? Seniors! Start those essays and apps!

© 2013 Roger D. Chamberlain

Roger Chamberlain
Roger Chamberlain works for a university helping low income and under represented high school students prepare for and be successful in college.
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