Learning For the Weekend

How School Divides Your Life (and Hurts your Future)

Something strange happens when you graduate from school. Whether it’s high school or university, you’re suddenly thrown into the world. No one tells you to wake up. No one tells you to learn, to read, to study, to work — nothing. At first it’s freeing. But the feeling of liberation quickly fades.

Instead, most people feel terrified.

Why?


School creates in you a divided life. Even supposedly progressive schools force students to adhere to a set courseload and schedule. A school without a curriculum seems impossible: so schools hold students’ hands through a rigid ‘academic process’.

Instead of enhancing your interests and work, school becomes a burden— it distracts from your goals and interests. In the evenings you refine your childhood obsession with acting or painting. On your summer vacation you volunteer in a homeless shelter and discover your humanitarian calling. You design a website for a friend, then for their friends, and launch your freelancing career.

You study XYZ in college, but life happens outside. We stare out windows from our school desks as life passes us by.

The best learning comes when you discover on your own, motivated by your own interests. Most of the time you spend on arbitrary term papers and lectures is time lost.

No one can thrive with a divided life. If college is meant to be an experience where you thrive and discover yourself and your interests, why does school force your interests to the evening, weekends, or summer break?

People say that ‘working for the weekend’ creates a miserable and unproductive life. Surely, ‘learning for the weekend’ does too.

Life is the main event. It ought to be in school, too.

The great tragedy is in students’ terror after school. Life finds students at the end of their education. All the years of schooling prepared them for school, not life. They had no time to cultivate their passion. They have no work experience. Their portfolio is full of term papers that no one actually read. They’ve never led anything. They’ve never executed a project. They’ve never truly failed or succeeded or looked deep into themselves and seen that their sacred power transcends a final exam.

Yet here life arrives. And it demands all of you.

The best education is simply to live boldly, to follow your interests, work hard, meet interesting people and explore the world. In short, to keep busy doing cool stuff. Schools should offer no difference between profession, hobby, passion, work, play, and education. School should offer a unified life.