Now that you’ve got your diploma, what’s next?

When you were in school, you were taught to obey the rules. You were taught to be complacent, to abide by what is “allowed.” Most schools cannot handle the creative ones.

I can remember a classmate of mine who was way ahead of his time. While we were in sixth grade, he was already into higher levels of sciences. He did experiments on electric circuits at school and even got zapped one time. Probably because he connected them in parallel where he should’ve done in series. While he learned about the difference between the two and what is overload, he got reprimanded for going beyond what a “normal” sixth-grader should be doing.

All I can say, he was way ahead of us. But the school we’re in cannot handle his level of intelligence. Maybe, if he was just in the right school, which is really rare, he would’ve excelled and become a scientist by now.

He was also tagged as lazy for only showing interest in mathematics and sciences. No one really understood him. Thinking about it now, I can say he is just efficient with his time. Why learn about other things that will only delay you from exploring more on what you really consider essential? I think that at a very young age, he already understood the power of opportunity cost. Time spent in one thing is the time you cannot spend on another.

But because the school was not ready for him, the school wants him to become everybody else. Because it’s easier to treat everyone the same than to cater to each of their differences.

And the standardized system made most of us lost. Because we were so used to following instructions, we thought that if we will only study hard and ace all the exams, we’ll have the rest of our careers figured out. If only we’re still in the industrial age, that would’ve worked.

But times are changing faster than our educational system can evolve.

I also observed that there are subjects that are mere “fillers” of a curriculum. They are not necessarily helpful, but they are added in the curriculum to reach the standard number of hours required to get a diploma.

And because of that, I learned to appreciate online learning where you can focus on the things you want to excel and become better at it. You don’t have to waste so many hours on things that are merely distractions for the career path you really want to pursue. At the end of the day, companies don’t want generic people in their team. They want people who can offer something different.

So if you think that just by securing a diploma also guarantees your career track (and a remarkably satisfying pay), you might find yourself lost and disappointed by now. But fret not. You can always do something about it. Even it’s so tempting to blame how broken our school system is, blaming what already happened will never help anything. But, you can help begin the change our school system needs.

Through technology advancements and the internet, you can now choose to upskill or reskill. You now have the freedom to choose what you really want to be good at. You can always make your past an alibi for being unable to excel today. But I believe that those who are willing to learn and become better in life always finds a way.

Stop thinking about excuses. This is your time to be creative. Take charge of your learning now. Because learning doesn’t stop after you got your diploma. Learning is what you do every day for the rest of your life.

Photo by Shenyi on

Here’s a short video about our school system and what you can do about it for the sake of your children and the generations to come.

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