The Point of School

By | April 12, 2010

I wish someone had told me this as a child.

The point of elementary school is not to learn.  The point is not to train you for an adult life.  The point of elementary school is to practice following instructions.

Let’s jump to high school.  The point of high school is not to learn.  The point of high school is not to train you for your adult life.  The point of high school is to order the children in a line from “best” to “worst”.  They use grades and SAT scores to measure.  This order is used by colleges for admission.

Let’s jump to college.  The point of college is not to learn (unless you get specific training like Computer Science, Doctor, Lawyer, etc).  The point of college is not to train you for your adult life.  The point of college is to give your money to the college.  It’s a business.  Get over it.

Let’s jump to your resume.  Your resume has a line called “Education”.  It lists your college and major.  If it says one of the top schools (Harvard, Stanford, Yale, MIT, etc, etc) you will get more job offers and have an advantage over your peers in every way.  I know a hiring manager who will assume someone from Stanford is “smart”.  I know a guy who was rejected from Google because his college wasn’t good enough.

So, let’s recap.

  1. Follow instructions in elementary and get good at it.
  2. Use those skills in high school to get excellent grades.
  3. Use those grades to get into a top tier college.
  4. Put that college on your resume and reap benefits for the next 40 years.

If you want to learn, you have to do it on your own time.  I wish someone had told me this as a child.

2 thoughts on “The Point of School

  1. lux

    with all due respect Glen, if you truly believe this then you went to the wrong schools.

    Reply
    1. Glen Lipka Post author

      I hate sentences that start “with all due respect”. I didn’t go to the wrong schools. I went to normal schools in the suburbs. I had it better than most. In many schools there is no point at all.

      Reply

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