Without a good education, life can be tough once a boy becomes a man. Jay Snook provides personal insight on succeeding through education.
School is so important, and yet lots of boys don’t give it much thought. They have other things on their minds, and many of them skate through without giving it their best. In recent generations, many young boys may think they already know all they need to be successful in this world. The truth is that they are dead wrong. Even in the age of computers and information being so easy to reach, there are many things that they will only learn in a classroom. They will not only get many good learning skills, but build some much needed social skills, too. In the real world, no matter what you choose to do with your life, knowledge truly is power.
I am a person who for many years didn’t think school was that important. A simple boy who liked to be social with friends, see movies and just have fun. I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life, but I never thought school could answer this question. I knew I enjoyed computers, and watching movies was always a joy. I skated by with middle school, high school and my first attempt at college. I got okay grades, but they were not my best because I gave no real effort to learning the material. I got my high school diploma, but that was all I had for a number of years.
I became a college dropout, someone who had taken his share of general education classes, but nothing towards getting a degree. I began a rough road towards partying more and doing my share of drugs and drinking often. I had no real direction, and no matter how bad things got school did not seem like the answer to help it get better. I developed a strange sleep schedule and my life was going nowhere in a hurry. Thankfully, things got bad enough one day that I decided to get some help. With that decision, things slowly got better for me.
After a few years of sobriety, I decided I would give school another try. There was naturally some fear of failure, but life gave me the opportunity and I knew I just had to take it. I went to a vocational school and decided to get a certificate in medical assisting. I was for the first time in my life excited to go to school, and knew this was something I wanted to do for a career. My dad was proud of me, and even bought me a special stethoscope that I still have today. I circled myself with the people who were there to succeed, and worked hard to get high marks in each class I took. Thanks to all this hard work, I got A’s and B’s in all of my classes. I think having a clear head helped, and so did self confidence. I sadly didn’t get a job in that field, but I now knew that I was not dumb and as long as I applied myself I was fully capable to do well in my educational endeavors.
I went to a junior college, and after a few years got my AA degree, again with good grades across the board. Once this ended, I transferred to a four year school and got my BA degree in Journalism. I found myself really enjoying writing articles and learned what section I wanted to write in, which was Arts and Entertainment. There were some tough times while I went there like getting fired from the school paper, but I refused to let it bring me down.One of my proudest days was when I became a college graduate, my family was so proud of me. I truly felt like a man on this day, I had never given up and the fruits of those labors now were right in front of me. It was one of the greatest achievements to date, and I know that things will only get better from here.
So just how can school become exciting for boys nowadays? One way this can be done is by the teachers they will have. If a teacher can find a way to make the lessons more exciting and relate able to boys, they will be that much more eager to learn. I know when a teacher thought outside of the box on their lesson plans, you can bet they had my full attention. It also helped if we had to read a boring book, to see the film afterwards did make the lesson more exciting.
It is also important for the schools to continue looking for new ways to make students want to learn. If they do a good job of keeping the material up to date, and at the same time giving them the resources they need, they have a better chance of getting the education they require to be successful. A good example is giving them things like books, tablets (not sure how many schools do this), access to computers and other new technologies as they become available to the public.
It is also imperative that the parents instill in their boys the importance of getting an education. Let them know why you got one, and how it has helped your life be better, and they just may follow your example. But you must be honest with them too, and let them know that it took a lot of hard work along the way. My dad did this for me, and I knew from a young age that if I wanted to have a good life school was the only way to get it. My mother also had a good educational background, and this only increased my desire to do well. Without their examples, I doubt I would have reached the milestones I have, and would be unable to keep reaching higher in life.
These days, there just isn’t one way to make boys excited to go to a school all day and want to learn. With the internet and other forms of technology, it may seem to them that school is no longer a necessity. It is the job of the people in their lives to kindly correct them. They will learn many things there that they will never learn anywhere else. It is one of the most important moments of their lives,and it would be a shame if they missed it. I hope these suggestions I have made will help it be a tad easier for parents to get their kids overjoyed for school. It would be even better if they learn from my past so they don’t make the same mistakes. An education just opens doors in life that nothing else will, so go out there and learn everything you can. For many people, it may be your only chance.
Photo: Christian Lyons/Used With Permission