You will have to spend a lot of time in school preparing for your adult life. You have to study English, math, history, science, physical education, and other subjects that adults believe you need to know before they unleash you onto the world. However, some of the important lessons you will learn in school are not listed on the class syllabus (or outline) but are important lessons to learn while in school.
- Responsibility: You will be better prepared for life when you learn to be responsible for making sure your work is done correctly and on time without having to be reminded by the adults in your life. You should be able to keep a calendar and assignment list so you know what is due when and plan your schedule to complete your tasks on time. This is important because in the work world you must work with little supervision but your manager will expect you to do what is required or will find someone else to do the work.
- Accountability: You also learn how to respect teachers, administrators, and others in authority (especially your parents if you are home-schooled). At school you learn to abide by rules that are established to maintain a positive orderly atmosphere and to protect students and adults. If you do not abide by the rules you learn that there are consequences for disobedience. I often tell my kids that the rules don’t stop when you live on your own, you just answer to a different group of people. An important skill in life is learning to live by rules responsibly and respectfully.
- Friendship: The first day of school, or the first day at a new school, can be so stressful because you don’t know anyone. What a relief when you strike up a conversation with someone in your class or at the lunch table and develop a friendship. You don’t feel so alone after that. Your friendships will likely change as you go through school just as they change when you go through life. Your best friend in middle school may only be a distant friend your senior year of high school. I remember growing apart from friends who were getting involved with drunkenness and other behaviors displeasing to God but I developed good friendships with others who were not doing these things. Make sure your strongest friendships are with those who help you do right, not people who would lead you into bad behaviors.
- Uniqueness: In school you realize that you are just one of many kids in many schools across the globe. However, you ought to realize that although you share many interests and dressing styles with others, you are unique in the world. You need to be proud of your uniqueness and do not worry if you do not seem to fit in with others. There are people that you will feel comfortable with and they will love you as you are. Do not change to please others because you will not be happy with the mask and will eventually tire of not expressing yourself. Be happy with who you are and defend it if you must. Do not let others bully you but defend who you are (see this article for more about this important subject).
- Christianity: At school you have occasions to stand for your faith when it is challenged and to share your faith with those who need it. Many school kids were not raised with any connection to Jesus and you can provide the light to guide them to Him. You are able to shine as a good example in your words and actions. You have opportunities to tell of the good work God has done in your life. There are many confused, depressed, and spiritually starving students who would love to have a relationship with God the Father through Jesus but their parents and friends do not serve him. You have the chance to be that light. You can provide the greatest education that your fellow students could receive and which will impact their life for the better.
There are many lessons you will learn in school but not all of them will be in the textbooks!