Okay, so I’ve established that school taught me pretty much nothing, and the world is now expecting me to do something with the nothing I’ve learned.
Let’s ignore the absurdity for a moment and focus on me. At this point, I have a choice. I can either stay next-to-naught educated, belay all the wrong things (because there is no way you can make up for twelve years of missed lessons) and try to focus on making a living out of what I have – a little bit of talent, a little bit of pretending, a little bit of faking and you got yourself a life. Or I can reject a partial, insecure life in which anyone can crush me with my own ignorance, and choose knowledge instead.
What knowledge, you ask? Why, the knowledge that I want, of course.
Let me explain.
First, I need to sort out what I like and dislike, what I love and what I want. What is it I want to do all my life? Photography? Journalism? Theoretical math? Making airplane models out of chopsticks? Whatever it is, you must know. You need to know yourself very well and, therefore, stick to your decision once you decide – no matter how hard it may be.
Here comes the tricky part. You now need to see your options, possibilities, about doing what you want to do. What will it take? A diploma, a working experience, a business plan? In most cases, you will find that you need to learn more. You know some, but not much, of what you need to know in order to, say, go to university or open your own workshop or give tango lessons or whatever. Before you start working on getting what you want, you need to learn. On your own. The school might have something to help you with, but the chances are, you will have to do most of it by yourself. That’s why it’s important to bring the right decision: if it is right, you will be sure of it and you won’t have a reason to give up when it gets difficult. And it will get difficult – sooner or later you will run into something you can’t understand or can’t deal with, something that will confuse you, discourage you, make you feel unfit for your goal. That’s when the decision itself becomes the most important: be sure that it’s the right thing for you to do, that that’s what suits you and that’s what you should be doing. Only then will you be able to continue, stronger and more confident than ever. And as you move forwards, you will realize that you’re actually perfecting yourself and getting better at not only what you want to do, but also at doing other things, at understanding people’s ideas, situations, and generally, at handling what comes your way.
That is what you need. That is what no school has ever been able to teach you: working towards your goal is building you up. It’s significant, because you’re doing it on your own – you claim control and responsibility over it. It’s yours. Your life, your future, your reality, in your hands.
Make it something you’ll be proud of.