T Nation

High School is Useless


My uncle said he could get me into a job that pays $50,000/year by next April, but I need 60 college credits, but I have 30. So im enrolled in school to get the rest.

But on reflecting, it made me see how useless high school really was. You don't learn anything. At least not anything that matters. Who cares who was the President in 1785 or who cares about some play Shakesphere wrote 300 years before you were even born? That type of stuff doesnt help the bottom line....MAKING YOURSELF A LIVING!!! I've never been to an interview where the basis of getting the job was telling the interviewer some random, useless fact like how fast the earth moves around the sun.

Eveb with this high school diploma I have, which isn't worth the paper its printed on, I (and many, many others) still have to beg, bow, and scrape for a $10 an hour job. And high school doesn't even teach you how to beg, bow, and scrape correctly so you can get that $10 an hour job.

In my opinion they should use elementary school thru middle school to teach you reading, writing, and arithmatic and maybe a few of those useless facts they think is so important. The kids, at that point, who may likely be college material, can be steered more towards academics. The kids that aren't college material can spend their high school years learning a skilled trade or two or learning how to be an entrepreneur, you know, stuff that can actually put money in your pocket.

Now, when you graduate, your high school diploma means you know how to do something, not that you memorized who was president in 1785 so you could pass a test in history class.


I'll whoop your ass Clip.


High School is just that, it's only High School, there are some courses that probably ought to be mandatory, like a course in personal finances, but generally it's just about getting everyone some basic knowledge.

That said, I will never use anything I learned in high school (and 75% of the shit I learned in college) in my profession.




High School teaches you how to conform to what's acceptable in society. College teaches you exactly what you need to know to participate in that society and earn a living doing what you want to do.


I don't know any 8th graders that are ready to go straight to college... that know relatively advanced algebra and trigonometry, fundamentals of chemistry and physics, how to write papers, etc. I also don't think many 14 year olds are ready to decide what career they want to pursue and specifically study just for that.

Graduating from high school doesn't make you special or qualified for a high end job. But it makes you more qualified than a high school dropout, and yes, of course you knew more about academic subjects and life in general at 18 years old after high school than you did at 14...



Rock will whoop your ass, Clip.


High school means nothing when you have it, and everything when you don't. At least if you'd like to get ahead in life(in most cases).


I'll be masturbating in the corner.


For kids who actively engage and exploit the opportunities that are available, high school can be an extremely positive experience. As well as academic fundamentals and study habits, kids who are so inclined have the chance to develop a base in athletics, music, arts leadership, time management and social interaction. Travel, community involvement, outdoor activities and international exchange programs are also on the table in many places. A local high school where I live has produced at least 2 Olympic, and many more national level athletes through their sports programs. The range of opportunities available to motivated kids is staggering.

The other thing high school does is to provide an environment where you can begin to figure out where your interests and aptitudes lie before you try to choose a direction. Of course if you just slack off, put in your time and do the minimum to graduate you won't get a hell of a lot out of it. Big surprise, it's just like "real life". Unfortunately many kids (myself included) fall into the trap of believing that high school is useless and so they do slack off and thus it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy.

Public education in North America has some serious issues IMO, but to say it is useless is just ignorant. I implore any of the younger people who may be reading this to take full advantage of what's available to them. I mean fucking attack your education and extracurriculars, leave nothing on the table. No, high school's not an end in itself but it can be a hell of a beginning.


lol, u so mad


Having a working knowledge of history will allow you to make an INFORMED decision on who you elect to public office (and the historical outcomes of the policies they represent), who can affect your tax rate and other factors that will DIRECTLY influence your ability to "make yourself a living".

As for Shakespeare (and the other Great Books), try to think of it as a mirror. A mirror that reflects the world in a way that allows us to see it's true nature. It often illustrates a tragic flaw. For example, Macbeth is a reflection on ambition - and how it ultimately destroys him. As you learn to read Shakespeare, you are learning to read the world that we live in. As you struggle with the complexities of interpreting Shakespeare's work, you are struggling to interpret the complexities of LIFE. It's not a bad "preparation" for dealing with the various "characters" and "archetypes" that you WILL encounter in the "real world".

Understanding the physics involved with knowing how fast the earth revolves around the sun creates a framework of understanding that you can use to solve OTHER problems that are perhaps more immediate and/or profitable...

Education doesn't stop with HS or college. Shit, I didn't even graduate HS, but I can hang in conversations with very educated people. If I had not made the effort to educate myself, then I would not have been able to form the RELATIONSHIPS necessary to create an environment where I could even WORRY about a bottom line.

Your focus on the bottom line is simply short sighted. There is more to life than the bottom line. Education DIRECTLY impacts the bottom line. That includes the classics, mathematics and history. If you have the ability to experience it. If you don't, then I feel sorry for you. Life must be pretty dull.

Just sayin...


It seems like a scam to me....they teach you nothing about making a living in high school when it's free...but then tell you to go to college or some other training which generally you have to PAY FOR and make it so w/o that you cant get a decent job.

I thought school was all about the bottom line of getting a decent job, not having to memorize a bunch of useless shit.


x2 DB will in fact, be masturbating in the corner.


I lol'd at the first, but I can forgive the second. (for those not quick on the uptake, there was no American President in 1785, and Shakespeare was 400 years ago, not 300).

My first response would be that because our society purports to democratically elected institutions and governance, there's an interest in producing citizens that have a basic grasp of history. Knowing facts about, for example, the Holocaust might not make you a better brick layer, but it does make you a more well-informed voter. I have a lot of friends who aren't going to college and such, and I'm glad that they have had at least some sort of understanding of the world around them created by a high school education.

My second response would begin by saying that I'm currently in a professional school (law school). I majored in English as an undergrad and basically spent the whole time learning nothing practical. When I look at my legal education now, I feel that the main thing that will make me an effective lawyer is the foundation that I built with literature and history--developing an analytical framework for me to now apply to law.

You don't realize it, but synthesizing history and literature involves developing actual skills that are useful in the real world once you get to a certain level of development.

Another answer would be that the American school system is not built to produce a bunch of brick layers or whatever it is that you're planning on doing. It purports to prepare students to enter college and develop their intellectual capital. Nothing personal, but it also might be worth asking yourself why it is that you're the one talking about "worthless facts" as you aspire to a 50k/year job while people who might defend the current school system are aspiring to careers and such that demand far more than 60 college credits.


If high school taught you NOTHING, then you failed. It helps prepare you for life in one way or another. It wasn't until grade 12 when I took kinesiolgy, that I knew what I wanted to do with my life.

What job is your uncle hooking you up with.


Well said.


Do you ever wish you could go back to high school? I wish I'd done more. I see all the cool things available to my daughter at her high school and wish I could take some of the courses. I wish I'd joined more things and taken courses like shop and drafting.

I wouldn't want to be that age again for all the money in the world but there were a ton of wasted opportunities. I don't mean opportunities to learn how to make a living so much as have fun and learn about things that interest me.


Give time to time. If you want a good job with a decent pay you have to further your studies into a field at a higher level later on in life. Having said that, no educational system is perfect...nothing is anyway. Ah, and hello to everyone. Been a while.


hey Bicep_craze