September 9, 2019
How Going Back to School is Pretty Cool
Abandoned schoolhouse that’s been covered in graffitiSource: Abandoned Schoolhouse | Penelope Peru Photography
Education is a facet of modern living, an enriching experience we often take for granted in 2019 – and there are a lot of reasons why. While the slight majority feels engaged in school, only 48 percent of secondary school students feel what they are learning will benefit them in the real world, according to Youth Truth student survey issued in 2017.
Other factors that contribute to student dissatisfaction come into play, as well: inadequate academic environments, the competitive attitude towards grades, peer pressure, and the meer fact that school starts so early in the morning.
However, the negative attitude towards school as a whole only perpetuates feelings of dread, anxiety, and indifference towards course materials, when there’s a lot that could be celebrated, instead.
Why School Rules
School Adds Value to Your Life
First and foremost, school gives our youth a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It adds structure and routine that’ll prepare them for the real world. After being in school from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM nearly every day for 12 years, how much harder will it be to transition to a 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM job?
However, there is a reasonable argument that students are getting up too early for school, according to the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC). Getting adequate sleep is essential during adolescents, as deprivation can affect their development, lead to symptoms of depression, and a variety of other health issues.
Nevertheless, school provides a healthy amount of structure to a child’s life.
School Encourages Face-to-Face Socialization
Even in students who couldn’t be more opposite, there remains three things in common among them: they’re within the same age group, they live within the same school district, and they have the opportunity to see each other face-to-face at least five days a week.
Having an active social life positively correlates with longevity and good health, research published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) reports. In fact, lacking social connections is associated with premature mortality, physical inactivity, and obesity, according to a study published in the Public Policy and Aging Report.
Additionally, the Journal of Adolescent Health says social isolation can also induce depressive symptoms and negatively contribute to poor health, based upon their research.
Although peer pressure and bullying remain major issues that plague our schools, it still provides students a safe place to socialize with age-appropriate peers on a regular basis, which is essential to their physical and emotional wellbeing.
Studying Satisfies the Mind
Learning a new skill or language has profound effects throughout the brain that can slow or even reverse cognitive decline associated with aging, research published in the Journal of Psychology and Aging states. These results indicate there’s neuroprotective power in learning that encourages brain plasticity, which is essential to preventing neurological conditions such as dementia.
Whether you believe what you’re learning in school will be relevant to your real world experiences later in life or not, academia puts you in an environment that encourages learning – and in turn, brain growth – on a regular basis, which could arguably be the foundation of cognitive youth.
School is Not Forever
All states have compulsory laws that require youth around the ages of six to 17 years old to receive some level of education, according to the National Center for Education Statistics.
While these 11 or so years may seem like an eternity, they are only a small fraction of your life. Considering that life expectancy is 78.6 years, the CDC reports, school takes up approximately one seventh of your life. This leaves you with roughly 86 percent of your remaining time on earth to do as you please.
Exams, bullies, inadequate learning environments, and other factors encourage a very negative perception of school, paying little homage to how school positively contributes to our physical and emotional wellbeing.
There’s certainly a lot to be done to improve our schools, but how we approach education needs to improve, as well.
Instead of capitalizing on how school drools, focusing on how school rules can encourage student engagement and foster a more positive attitude towards going to class at the crack o’ dawn each day.
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