Why I Hate the School System

in education •  4 months ago


Listening to one of my all-time favorite albums, The Wall by Pink Floyd, gave me the spark to write something I've been wanting to write for a long time.

I'm used to writing about stuff and problems to which I have some kind of an answer to or at least some sort of a proposal to make. This is a little different because I'm not sure how to fix it since I don't think there's one "villain" at the root of this problem, such as the government, as it often is with the things that I ponder about.

The problem I have is the school system.

And I don't mean school being an indoctrination camp for "statists" or anything like that, no. Stuff like that is lame. I'm actually talking about the school system having this sort of a monopoly on giving people "qualifications", and businesses ranking people so much based on them. I live in Finland, so this is mostly from a Finnish point of view, things may differ in other countries, but I'd like to think that some similarities do apply.

A dilemma that I've always had with my life in this society is that I was never that good in school. In theory, I have, or had, the potential to be, since when I did listen and study, I was able to pass exams pretty easily, more easily than some others who studied harder than me on those particular exams. However, it was quite rare that I had the interest or the motivation to study at all. I've always been the type of person who gets really interested in something, spends his waking hours thinking and reading and discussing that particular point of interest, and forgets about everything else. It just so happens that whatever we were studying at school wasn't one of those topics of interest, more often than not.

I can legit name you all of World Wrestling Federation world champions from Buddy Rogers in April 1963 to AJ Styles in October 2016, without looking any of it up. And I've done it, too. Simply because at one point in my childhood, I had an internet connection and that just happened to be my area of interest. I didn't choose it, it just happened. That's how my brain functions. Later on, my areas of interest have varied from drugs to economics to cryptocurrencies to learning the mechanisms of comedic writing that allows me to understand that whenever you make a list like this, the fourth entry, after you've established the list, has to be a joke or a surprise in order to keep the text interesting.

Just whatever happened to grab my interest. I know a ton about a lot of stuff, but the big problem has always been that I've never been able to "time" them correctly. Meaning that I've always been interested in the wrong stuff at the wrong time - and it's taken my focus away from the stuff I should have been be learning, i.e. whatever was going on in school.

But I've learned a whole lot about stuff that was never even taught in school, proving that I do have the ability to learn.

And the issue lies with the fact that I don't have any impressive diplomas to show for any of that.

So, for a lot of my life I've been stuck with menial jobs, often working with people I've felt were a lot dumber than me, sometimes even working directly below people I felt were dumber than me. Don't get me wrong, good at what they did and everything, but still, I've spent a lot of time with the feeling that I really should be doing something else. It does hurt my heart a little bit every time I have a boss who doesn't know how to use proper grammar.

I don't mean to sound all egomaniacal, I'm by no means super smart, there a lot of people more successful than me that are a lot smarter than me. But I've often not felt comfortable working with a lot of the people that have simply not been on the same wavelength as me.

Later on, by a stroke of luck, I was able to discover sales jobs, which don't really require school diplomas or stuff like that, and I happened to get really good at sales, so I've been able to "beat the system" that way, but I still feel like I do have the potential to do much more.

How, though?


Two people apply for a job. One has gone to school, gotten a degree and has it to show for oneself. The other one has studied the subject on one's free time, understands the subject, may even have great ideas regarding, but lacks the elusive school diploma to show for any of it.

The latter does not even get the interview. If the latter person even applies for the job, stating "I've spent a lot of time reading about this on the internet" it probably just causes a burst of laughter from whoever happens to read the application.

Of course, the government doesn't make things any easier by making it so expensive, risky and difficult to hire anybody, let alone someone who lacks the "proper" qualifications for the job. I'm sure job market regulations are one big reason for this, but I'm not sure if it's the only one.

The fact is that, at least over here, the school system was developed by middle-aged women, and sadly it does push aside a group of boys every year. People who fall out of society, out of the reach of a higher education or the job market are disproportionately boys. And I can absolutely relate to this.

To me, personally, the idea of learning something through "forced" memorizing, sitting still at classes, doing it all not when you yourself feel motivated to do it, but rather when you are ordered to, is unnatural. There are, I know, a lot of people, boys, and girls, who succeed very easily in the school system, and I envy them. I've always been a bit jealous of those who knew what they were going to do and study at a very early age, did the necessary work, got ahead and are now in high paying, meaningful and cozy jobs. That's how I've always wanted to do it!

But the way it works for me is that I can't really "control" what interests me at any given moment. I may think to myself that hey, I'd like to learn more about programming with Assembly, I'll work on that, but you know what, I'll first read through the entire Wikipedia about everything regarding World War II because the thought of doing that just kinda happened. And that's what I'll do, and I can do it for hours. Now, it's great if you're training for the international Trivial Pursuit World Championship, but not so much if you're trying to apply for a school and have a set amount of books to read, in order to get ready for the entrance exam - for example.

A lot of this is a personal problem, yes, with me being the faulty party, not the "system", necessarily. But I can't help but notice that I know a lot of people who are very intelligent, with a lot of stuff to give, to other people, to the market, what have you, but for whatever reason, they just never really fit in with the school system. As a result, a lot of these bright people are either working a pointless job with a shitty pay or not working at all because they can't seem to get even the most menial of menial jobs - because they lack any kind of a degree. Any kind of PROOF that hey, I'm not a moron, I can do stuff.

Lacking a degree is something that makes people think that a person is a loser, maybe an alcoholic, perhaps a drug addict.. something like that, since it's clear that there is something wrong with him, otherwise he would have gone to school and studied hard.

I can't think of one law that should be passed, or some law that should be written off, one government policy that should be gotten rid of in order to fix this problem, but it doesn't stop me from feeling that there is a problem.

It just seems silly to me that with the internet that gives us a basically unlimited access to an unbelievable amount of knowledge we're still stuck with this idea that schools and universities have a monopoly on "granting" you knowledge, a monopoly on deeming you worthy of doing something, anything. And it's not like it's a law or anything, I'd say that business owners are as guilty as some of the government policies that make it harder for people to find jobs. I'd like to see some sort of an attitude change regarding this. Or perhaps not the business owners, but whoever does the recruiting.


As it is right now, no matter how smart you are, if you do not, for whatever reason, fit into our school system, you have basically been locked away from the market of meaningful and interesting, high paying jobs, regardless of your potential to produce and contribute. If you don't make the right choices when you're young, say hello to the hard life.

I also don't care what anyone says, the fact is that passing exams is the way to get the nice jobs that keep you interested and motivated. Outside of starting your business - which is something that a number of people in this situation do - you are basically blocked from an entire area of life.

So, am I lazy? Well, you could say that. But if the opposite of lazy is studying hard, I'm not sure if I could be labeled as such, since I've spent a huge portion of my free time buying and reading books, listening to podcasts, having conversations and, well, studying a number of subject matters. I've just been doing it on my terms, which is more natural to me. Unfortunately, there's no one giving me a degree on something I studied on my own.

Oh, and the best thing? At every job I've ever had, I've had to learn how to do stuff at work. Every job has had to train me to do the work. Even sales jobs, I've worked in sales for years now, but whenever I've gotten a new sales job, I've had to learn how stuff is done at that particular job.

It's just beyond ridiculous to me whenever I scroll through a list of open jobs, and a spot is open for a customer service worker at a supermarket, which requires a degree in customer service.

What the f-ck?

I've worked with customers for years, been commended for my customer service, gotten a lot of positive feedback from customers, been able to turn extremely unhappy customers into happy customers, and I can't, for the life of me, figure out what it is exactly in customer service that requires three years of education in order to possess the necessary skills to smile at customers and answer their questions regarding your workplace - with stuff that you learn, not at school, but at your workplace.

Can anyone relate? Does anyone have any ideas, suggestions, etc. regarding this topic? Is the system broken, or am I?

But hey, never fear. If you're charismatic enough, there's always politics.


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The problem with the modern education system is that it monopolizes "education". There is a belief that to have knowledge you must have passed through an educational institution and have a university degree.

The education system is made so that people become repeaters rather than thinkers, students accept and repeat what teachers say. Try to take the opposite to the line of institutional thinking and you will see how your qualifications go down.

But the problem is not institutions, the problem is their monopoly on "knowledge", and that more than in the system itself, is in our conception of university students, and the conception that society has of knowledge.

If someone shows me his college degree to validate his argument, as economists usually do, then I can know at once that he has no idea what he is talking about, and he is just repeating.

By the way, if you did a good job reviewing the Wikipedia pages of the World War II, then you should end up in Italian pages, the information usually varies by language, otherwise you will not have done well. :) Although Wikipedia is not a reliable source.


But hey, never fear. If you're charismatic enough, there's always politics.

That is the biggest lie in this whole article, and the school system is a huge lie. We've been electing the same family of people to office as long as there has been voting. If you are not from that family, you just disappear.

Anyway, you haven't even scratched the surface of why school sucks.
Try listening to the School Sucks Podcast. I can't remember the name of the original interviewee that started it off, but he is great.

He had a list of the top 10 things schools teach, and learning wasn't even on the list.

Imagine, you are in class, learning something "important", and just in the middle, the bell rings. Does the teacher say this is more important, so stay in your seats? Only once has it happened to me. The bell is more important than your learning.

Further, everything you were taught in school is wrong.
Speaking from The US schools, all the science was wrong, and all the history was sooo skewed that it may as well have been wrong.

School certificates are necessary because most hiring people are too stupid to actually test someone to see if they can do the task desired. So, they rely on the pieces of paper. Almost all of which means you could sit still and memorize a list of haphazardly chosen words, and regurgitate them onto the form.

School was developed not to teach, but to indoctrinate. And the certifications are necessary because people were never taught enough to tell if a person can do a task.

And don't even get me started on the things they didn't teach you, like selling and financial literacy. I mean, everything they taught you is nothing compared to those two skills in actually living your life.


Anyway, you haven't even scratched the surface

Not like Steemit deserves much. I'll go more in-depth about anything people want if I get the same support some of the popular kids get. But I don't. So whatever.


Excuse him, he hit it off with the hallmark of the uneducated: making generalized motions he's heard on a podcast that "everything" you (he's from Finland Btw) were taught was wrong, except history which isn't completely wrong apparently, but it apparently might as well be.

I think you're right and I am more or less in your situation. The female school system teaches to learn by memory , repeat and conform to whatever the teacher says, also it's almost 100% theory and 0% percent practice, no hands-on activities , where you actually have to show in real life your knowledge really works out.

Yes the monopolization of accreditation and knowledge is the fundamental problem. It's an educational caste system as I've written about.

I also believe the confusion of being educated with being trained is at the root of this problem. When you need to be trained, say as a airline pilot a credential is essential to validate your skills, though this isn't the same with being educated; how are you suppose to validate someones knowledge on history, literature, or other "useless" knowledge domains?

I relate to this a lot; sometimes it was like reading a description of myself here.

I'm now 20 gone through high school, and gone through civil service for Finnish government. And now people start expecting me to go to school and get educated. I'm on my cycling journey now though, but that keeps people distracted only so long. Gonna have to figure something out eventually, though I'm pretty sure it doesn't involve an academic path since I could barely sit through high school.

Some relatives think that I'm smart and have talent, maybe thinking it would go wasted. Perhaps, but I think it's more wasted to stay miserable at school when at least at the moment I'm kinda enjoying the freedom I have for now at least.

Take your own blog history and see what exactly you write about and what your specialty is. What is the information content of your publication and the areas of knowledge you are roaming? What rating would you give yourself?

You got the school education you got. That can no longer be changed. Nothing in life offers us exactly what is tailor-made for us. Cutting and measuring is something that only happens when we grow up and decide what we want to do with our lives. School is a place like any other. Why is it a question of whether the others are weird or whether you have a problem?

We modern citizens do not experience our school education as valuable for exactly that reason, because we decide for the opposite - in retrospect. Did it occur to you to search for the events and episodes that have been good in your memory of school, that have inspired you? These are neither everyday nor often repetitive moments, but they are remarkable and can get you out of the complaining or this "whatever" mode. Did you know a particular teacher who, through his way of teaching, managed to give you pleasure in a subject or topic?

If you imagine every day as a round cake, then probably 60-80 percent of this cake is just everyday normality. And only the remaining percentages arouse interest, trigger a moment of decision and action. You seem to expect the proportion to be reversed. You can look at school, work and all life in such a way. Now that you are an adult, your expectation to be served your past schooling and the knowledge you were taught back then in your own way should stop. After all, you can do now much more now than you did as a disciple.

It is time to consider the whole school and education system as a possibility, systems that offer certain probabilities and will never fit perfectly, but have niches and loopholes. You can start to accept a part of it and not think you have to sell your soul to the devil. How to move in a system that cannot be totally rejected or fully integrated would be a way of looking at you and your life as well. What speaks against another official school career or adult education if you seem to see the need? You think there is nothing and nobody who have to offer something?

I don't know how old you are, but be sure that you will also appear here as a role model for younger men and women. How did you, as a teenager or very young man, perceive older people who saw and let you feel their resignation and world-weariness? What could you learn from them?

What identity do you actually have?
Wouldn't it be better to encourage others rather than discourage them?

Perhaps you should stop feeding on the affirmation of those who merely sing the same song and fear their own possibilities and strengths.

But even without a diploma or certificate, you can lead a life as good or bad as you do with it. Comparisons about stupidity or cunning only lead to emptiness anyway.

The best testimony you can get is the one you issue to yourself. Surely you are good at exactly those things that you may take for granted yourself. Make something of it.


You're going way too deep into this. This is a pointless blog on Steemit made for a few bucks.

I didn't even proofread. That's how pointless this post is.


So you are saying your wasted your time?


Not really. I made the few bucks I tried to make. Sure I was aiming to get some bigger voters, but there's little to no curation on Steemit these days, so this was to be expected.


Does it mean that what you write about isn't really taken seriously by you and doesn't really need to be taken seriously by other people? And that the fact that a post, when it is actually voted higher, only gets a value if it is rated higher by others? And otherwise not?

Do I understand correctly that you throw a kind of thing into a middle where others can find it and depending on how far and high the thing is then thrown by these others and held in the air, the game becomes interesting?

Would I have been a whale respectively curator which would have given you a 100% vote worth 50 or 100 SBD would the meaning of what you wrote here still be the same for you? Would you tell me, a whale, that you have not even proof read what you just published or would that change your outlook on your own work?


Why are you so dramatic? Content on Steemit doesn't really matter. The whales don't read posts. And even if some do, it's from the popular kids.


I wouldn't say dramatic, but rather puzzled.

My content matters, though :)


Why are you puzzled?