Whether you yourself are struggling with giving education priority in your life, or you're a parent to an uninspired student, there are many things to consider when it comes to improving and enhancing our experiences with education.
While in school, it's easy to slip into one of two bubbles - living a life other than class, treating homework and studying as a chore, or dedicating yourself to school alone. Either way, you are often living in the moment, and not thinking of the future, which isn't surprising - you have a lot on your plate!
There's several ways you can think about the future, and start planning. Preparing for life after graduation might seem daunting, but these 3 techniques will help you plan for the future without feeling overwhelmed in the present.
Follow Your Passions
If you follow your passions, learning becomes enjoyable. You're internally motivated to learn, to do assignments, and study for tests. Exploring different interests to find a passion, and enrolling in schools that foster that passion are key steps to take to make your education relevant to what you'd like to do in the future.
For example, starting students early in a STEAM program (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) will give them a more focused experience in these areas than traditional curriculum. In fact, many traditional curriculum provide minimal focus on art, steer some students away from math, and have zero exposure to technology or engineering. If you or your student is struggling with traditional school work, and would rather tinker with tools, or work on their car than study, they may be the perfect candidate for technical school. With the undiscerning push for everyone to go to traditional 4-year college, there has been a shortage of trained apprentices in skilled labor, such as building, contracting, plaster work, mechanics, and other important technical positions. Without exposure, students cannot identify or develop interests, or pursue them in higher education and careers.
Take Studying Seriously
If you're in the bubble where everything but school is a priority, it's time to make a change. Make sure you take your studies more seriously so you can come away with the best possible grades, experience, and referrals. That's right! Even if you don't make the best grades in the class, spending time studying and asking questions show engagement, and often translate into positive letters of recommendation from teachers and supervisors.
Even when school work feels like busy work, the experience is providing you with skills that transfer to life after school. Being able to handle what is given to you, following instructions, and seeing how tasks fit into the bigger picture are all key skills you develop in school.
Manage Your Perspective
The adolescent brain often sees the world with tunnel vision. The rational part of our brain isn't fully developed until we turn 25 - that's after college graduation and into our first job for many of us. While there's nothing you can do to make your brain develop faster, there are things you can do to help get some perspective.
Stepping up and having conversations with parents and other adults in your life help you connect emotion and fact. The next time you're being presented with a difficult situation, you're more likely to take a breath and think it through rather than responding out of feeling.
Teens aren't always amenable to listening to their parents - so having mature but late 20's to early 30's role models for your student can help them round out their perspective.
I mentioned earlier its important to get the best possible grades - and that means the best possible grades for you! Your education is important so work as hard as you can, focus your passions and interests to maintain your motivation, and seek out related experiences to develop your interpersonal and technical skills along with your education.
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