What We Learn Along the Way

What do we really get from learning all the theories, principles, diagrams, grammar, graphs,laws and every single thing we study in a four-walled room that’s commonly called a classroom?

The cliche answer to this question is that we need all the knowledge and information we can get to be able to sustain ourselves a proper future and earn sufficient income to live comfortable lives.

Yes, this reason is undeniably true but to think that the numerous years we spend in school is just a continuous cycle of accumulating pieces by pieces of knowledge to store in our brains so that we can use them  to catch hold of a nice occupation eventually  makes “school” sound so boring.

In my point of view, we learn the lessons of life.

I got this from my much respected high school trigonometry teacher who told our batch before we graduated that we didn’t have to remember how to prove theorems or factor equations or solve those very complicated mathematical equations until the end of our lives nor do we really have to use any of these in our future occupations and apply them. According to him, people can forget everything that they’ve studied in school but they will never forget the experiences and hard work they’ve gone through in the process of understanding these school lessons.

We learn patience when we have to solve the same problem over and over just to attain the correct answer. We learn perseverance when we refuse to give up on understanding the lessons to be able to pass an exam. We learn integrity when we insist on making our own projects and not cheat on exams. We learn discipline when we give up social networks and entertainment to study our lessona. We learn sociability when we humbly ask our teachers or classmates to explain once again the lessons we didn’t fully understand. These are just some of the essential moral attitudes that school lessons help us attain to better prepare us for a bigger challenge, entering the real world.

Like our high school principal once said, (non-verbatim) “A school is like a miniature replica of the real world. You learn to exhibit proper etiquette and right conduct through socializing with your peers here. How you behave in school will generally reflect how you will act in the society as an individual once you step into the real world. That’s why we punish you when you commit petty crimes such as bullying or cheating because outside, that’s already considered as breaking the law and we want you to understand that people who break the law won’t go unpunished.”

– Henny Hong Liao


8 thoughts on “What We Learn Along the Way

  1. What a refreshing reminder, Henny! 🙂 At times we focus a lot on learning the lessons and getting unos and forgot that college is the time for us to know ourselves better and set our priorities. It is the time to explore options and discover what we want in life. Of course, it should also be the time to enjoy our youth. 🙂

  2. Referring to your last paragraph, that is why UP provides us not only the advantage in learning advance knowledge from the best of the best but also the environment closest to the reality. In our university, our eyes are being opened with what really is happening to our society and inspires us to do something fulfilling what we are tasked as iskolar ng bayan. Maybe, UP, is the best university that could provide us with that simulation to reality, but I often think that it is merely a tenth of what we are about to face after college. But I am grateful that we are truly blessed to be in this prestigious university.

  3. Henny! So happy I read this before our Finals week. Thank you so much for reminding us one of the many reasons why we study. Sometimes we forget that learning isn’t limited to academic knowledge. When in doubt, I’ll remember what you wrote and its inspiring message.

  4. I needed this so much! Thank you Henny! 🙂 This reminded me of what I actually have to grasp in my years as a student. I’ve been questioning for a long time now exactly what I’m doing with my college life and what I’m actually getting from it. You’re right, it’s not all about learning theories or concepts, etc. it’s also learning about myself and who I’m going to be. 🙂

  5. Henny! This post of yours is a good one and it’s really inspiring! I’m grateful that you’ve reminded me that learning is not merely confined within the walls of a classroom. Indeed, life is not merely grounded on theories or on formulas that we memorize. Life’s also about learning from experience, and, in the process, we acquire the virtues like the ones you’ve mentioned. 😀

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