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Education is Failing Our Youth, Here’s How

Education is Failing Our Youth, Here’s How

I admit it. I am a little bit weird, even awkward at times. I am also friendly, kind, and I don’t let my shortcomings get the better of me. At least, I no longer do. Aging has afforded me at least one luxury, the ability to reflect on my life and see where things went wrong. I cannot change it, but I can learn from it and hopefully encourage others to do the same.

What does all this have to do with education? Nothing, and everything.  

I am not blaming anyone, but I have come to realize that some things did have an impact on my life. Things I often had no control over. If I had made more informed decisions and had better support, things might have turned out different for me.

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A lack of proper education is at the top of that list.

I somehow doubt that learning to knit in Mrs.Davis’s senior class was of any real use to me. This was taking place while the “boys” were learning valuable skills and trades like auto mechanics, I might add. I did not want to partake in the only work-related program being offered to the girls – secretarial studies – so I chose general sciences instead. This included subjects like Math, History, and Geography. It was the 70’s and things like feminism and socialism had not really made an impact. Honestly, I would have gotten more use out of reading the fundamentals of water damage and repair since that same year, my college dorm room flooded.

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Is our education failing our youth?  I think so. And, it has been for years.

In my opinion, Education is highly overrated. Teachers are not provided with the right materials to handle behavioral issues, and they do not have enough flexibility in the course requirements to allow for creative freedom.

Take me for example, I assumed journalism school was not the right career choice for me because I did not excel in English. My grades all throughout high school were average at best. It was not until I entered college when my professors began commenting on my writing abilities that I ever dreamed I could be a writer. How could I have missed that?

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One day it hit me.

I was not good at writing stories about topics that I had little interest in. I am the kind of person who needs to develop story ideas on my own. Writing is an art. It either flows or it doesn’t. In high school, I was required to write stories based on topics chosen by someone else. In some ways, I suppose my writing reflected my true feelings on the subject.

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The fact of the matter is, a great deal of the material provided from educators is inherently biased because it has a desired or expected outcome.

For someone as creative as I am this concept is foreign to me. I have to dissect, rearrange and debate everything before I can accept any conclusions. I cannot blame teachers, they are given a curriculum to follow. A curriculum that was likely drafted back in the early 20’s or 30’s.

It is time for the government to change the public education system to include more realistic and useful subjects for our youth. Don’t get me wrong, history and geography are important subjects. Career choices should be left up to each individual and not forced onto students who have little or no interest in them. How much knowledge do we really retain about things we have no interest in pursuing?

I think it makes a lot more sense to teach a variety of subjects and then allow students to develop on areas they want to explore before entering college. Does a geography major really need to know the philosophical nuances of a Shakespeare sonnet?

The western concept of education as we know it was developed a very long time ago.  Maybe it’s time we created a system more in line with our world today. The fact of the matter is, almost anyone can learn anything they want in a matter of minutes by doing a search on Google. Oddly, what most millennials cannot do are the ordinary everyday things like making doctor’s appointments and doing their taxes.

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Madeline Foster

Free Lance Writer

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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