Being in school is invaluable

Maren Fullerton, staff writer

School is an invaluable piece in the development of students on both a societal and intellectual level. Although students faced a culture shock when returning to school, being in-person provides many things online learning cannot: reconnecting with people, accountability     standards, and a sense of normality. The principle goal of school is to provide students the assets they need to succeed in a capitalist workforce. From home, these skills cannot be mastered in the same way as they are expected to in school. 

Quarantine was a life-changing experience for all of us. Without societal standards to keep us in the box of conformity, many of us hatched out of quarantine a new person. Some people came out, others cut their hair or dyed it, and all of us learned how to be alone. Quarantine in itself was a mental battle for everyone. The separation from people lessened the weight of society’s vision of a perfect person and allowed room for personal growth and experimentation. 

Being introduced back into an in-person world was scary, to say the least, but it was necessary. While we stumbled around social interaction that had been missed, our struggles served as a reminder that in the workplace, bosses expect our people skills to be impeccable. Be it a positive or negative moral, competition is a valued American ideal that demands professionalism. While culture binds us to an idea of perfection, it also provides a set of standards that prevents people from straying too far from what is humane. Whether society is a monster of conformity or a form of regulation, it exists in the workforce in a larger sense than in high school. 

This is the purpose of high school—to prepare students to succeed in the workforce. Being in school provides a standardized place for social development to progress. It is important as a student to be directly in contact with teachers in a setting that demands respect for authority. Accountability to do work to the best of your ability is forced upon you when a teacher calls you out for not doing homework, and learning is easier when you can engage and ask questions instead of mindlessly watching a video. When a student is forced to confront a teacher for help or to point out a mistake, skills that are necessary in the workforce are demonstrated. 

Nevermind school as a learning place, it is so important to be among peers and see friends that would not otherwise be seen outside of school. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that being physically at school can, “provide opportunities to facilitate social-emotional development that are difficult, if not impossible, to replicate through distance learning.” Being surrounded by people was missed in lockdown and has made us recognize the value of friends and family. Simply being surrounded by other students in the same situation is a reminder that nobody is alone. 

Yes, changes need to be made to the educational system to better fit the needs of all students. Yes, school is exhausting. For people with barriers to their education like mental illnesses or problems at home, school can be especially difficult to thrive in. Learning time management and how to deal with stress is even more important to students struggling with these things. School is an opportunity to practice for when a time comes in which you are busier than ever before—adulthood. Learning at home is simply impossible for many students. The stress caused by family and access to the internet and food is diminished when attending school. School could be modified to appease the needs of all students, but even for the ones who are struggling, it is the right place to be. 

In the end, school is the best place for everyone. It provides mental relief in the presence of peers while also developing functioning citizens. I concede, school causes everyone copious amounts of stress, but I also acknowledge the skills and endeavors I am able to partake in due to school. It is a necessary component of the happiness and progression of education in order to prepare students for the workforce.