Advice Teachers Should Give

by irms

There are literally hundreds of things teachers should be telling students, but if  I had to choose ten:
  1. You do not need to know what you want to do with your life.  People will ask you this like you should have an answer, so you will probably answer with one of the usuals:  I want to be a doctor/lawyer/teacher/etc.  But what if you don’t, or what if you don’t know?  Tell the truth.  Tell them you’re still figuring out what you like.
  2. You probably won’t use your degree the way you think you will or as people think it should be used.  These people don’t matter.  They will  not be paying you.
  3. If you want to be ahead of the game, learn to read and write better than everyone you know.
  4. You’re probably better off not choosing a path for your life.  Instead, choose the best of the options currently available.  Go for range, not domain.Learn by Osmosis
  5. Hang out with the smart people.  Not because they’re cool, and not because “you’ll be working for them one day”, but because being around smart people, makes you smarter.  It’s the closest thing you can get to learning by osmosis.
  6. Never let anyone convince you that school of any kind is a waste of time.  Change your major twelve times, I don’t care.  Take classes that count for nothing, it doesn’t matter. The most valuable things you learn over the course of a class are rarely on the syllabus — or written anywhere, for that matter —  so take as many as you like, and make it interesting.
  7. I can think of no advantages — not one — to graduating earlier than everyone else.  Oh sure, you’ll be the youngest whatever in the history of whatever, but that’s only going to last a year at the most.   Slow down.  Learn something.
  8. You will have teachers that suck.  Deal with it.  Use them to figure out what you don’t want to be.
  9. If you already know what you want to do, then find a need you can fill while you’re doing it.
  10. Do something hard.

Number 10 may be the most important thing on the list.  This is what will give you the edge in interviews, it is what will make other people talk about you, it will be the thing you are remembered for.   Applications for schools, scholarships and jobs seem to be designed for answers that make you look like everyone else.  Number 10 is your saving grace, and it will almost never happen inside a classroom.