As Americans, we believe that schooling is one of the most important values and rights that define us into who we are today. Without education, we would not be capable adults in our society. Or does it leave us clueless to a great deal of information that makes leads us to a successful life? Many schools do not prepare students for assimilation into the adult world. Although some schools have extra classes that teach some of this knowledge, it is not required for students to take these classes. Because a limited amount of schools have these advanced classes, many students do not opt to take these viable classes. After high school, students usually go down the path of getting higher education in college. This leads them into thinking that you cannot be successful without higher education and putting themselves into debt with loans. The same level of education is not available to everyone because it can be based on one’s culture or social class. Education helps you learn the basics of living in the adult world, but it should focus more on teaching fundamentals that are more important to our daily lives. Does education prepare students for the future? It teaches us important lessons like collaborating with peers, reading and writing, and basic arithmetic. Our American culture is created and learned in school where many different ethnicities intermix. But students struggle in the real world because some higher education can hurt more than it helps and people struggle to find a suitable education to ease the stress of adulthood.

A lot of students struggle when they are introduced to a more independent life. Our whole life we have depended on our parents or guardians. The main fundamental that education is built upon is getting good grades. Because of this, students are not aware of the outside factors of real-life that impede their success. College is where students learn how to take care of themselves without the help of others. It introduces us to many aspects of living that we did not experience in our comfortable lives at home. But education leaves various elements essential to living as an individual. “Many people that graduate college do not know how to pay their taxes. Most do not even know what the different type of taxes are (Reddy).” According to Neel Reddy, schools do not teach students enough about concepts like taxes and are oblivious to many other aspects of being an adult. This leads most alumni down the road of debt and misfortune because they are not aware of these conditions they never had to deal with before. For most of the people that went to college, they would have to pay off student loans. When students start college, they rarely understand how expensive college is. 

Although college is important to achieve better jobs and goals, it forces many undergrads to believe that college is the only definitive path to success. Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates dropped out of one of the most prestigious schools, Harvard University, and pursued their dream to become some of the richest people in the world (Rampton). For most college dropouts, this does not happen. But a tiny percentage could be at the top without a college education. Some people also believe that because they have a college degree, it guarantees them a good job. College helps you become better suited as a job candidate, but it does not mean that your degree will completely prepare you for a specific job. “In 2011, 1.5 million, or 53.6% of college grads under age 25 were out of work or underemployed. And for those that do have jobs? 48% of employed U.S. college grads are in jobs that require less than a four-year degree (Guise).” This quote from Guise shows that college is not everything and that experience in your field of work is more important than education. Alumni still struggle with a college degree and the student debt and the stress of finding the right job are catastrophic to one’s wellbeing. The first thing that students focus on is how they will pay their student loans. These problems delay the success that everyone strives for. While school is important to an extent, everyone has a different experience as a student.

Each school system is different in the nation. Some schools have better resources than others, while some only have the basic prerequisite classes of high school. Many students are privileged to have classes at their schools like APs, computer science classes, libraries with a wide variety of genres, and personal computers given by the school district. These are privileges that we take for granted that many other students in the world dream of having. Being students in America, most find it very hard to picture ourselves without the assets we have today. Whenever we lose a pencil, we think nothing of it and get another pencil from home or pick it up at the store. But there are children in the world that marvel about finding a used pencil on the ground. “‘In the field of public education the doctrine of ‘separate but equal’ has no place,’ as segregated schools are ‘inherently unequal ( Editors).’” From this quote, in the U.S., schools cannot use segregation and schools began to integrate. But now, schools are not segregated based on race but are based on social class and where you live. Although it is not as wrong as it was a hundred years ago, schools still do not give equal opportunity to their students.

In conclusion, education is flawed, but we, as a society, have done a lot to improve it so far. It is hard to create a good school system that would benefit everyone equally. Schools need to work on improving the individual to be a better person for society than focus on how good their grades are. Because it forces students to get good grades to pass, they are indirectly taught to think inside the box to “play it safe.” They get in the habit of getting by with an average grade on the test rather than learning the material. But this way of dealing with problems will not help you later in life but hurt you in the long run. You cannot partially pay your taxes or just work hard enough to get by. College is another reason people believe that education is the only reliable way of being successful. After high school, an individual usually goes to college and assumes that society will hand a job to them after they finish. The only thing certain after college is the debt one will be in from student loans and taxes that you have never heard of. Including higher education, everyone has a different encounter in their school system. Many students in the U.S. take their privileges for granted and do not understand what they have. Equal opportunity is not very prevalent nationwide because schools are better suited to teach students than others. Education is one of the most important aspects of life that contribute to a better future for the entire world. Without adequate schooling, there would be nothing that would create the children of the present into the adults of the future.

Works Cited

Guise, Stephen. “How School Trains Us To Fail In The Real World.” Medium,, 11 Oct. 2017, Editors. “Brown v. Board of Education.”, A&E Television Networks, 27 Oct. 2009,

Rampton, John. “12 Of the Most Successful Entrepreneurs Who Dropped out of College.” Mashable, Mashable, 22 Sept. 2016,

Reddy, Neel, and Johns Creek, Georgia. “Reasons Why the School System Is Flawed.” Odysseyonline, Johns Creek, Georgia, 14 May 2018,

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January 6, 2021 3:09 am

Hi Nico, I completely agree that our current education system leaves us grossly ill-prepared for life outside of high school and college. I still have no clue how to do taxes, and I am about to graduate.

May 2, 2020 2:51 pm

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March 17, 2020 5:00 am

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October 17, 2019 12:24 pm

Hi Nico, I thought your post was interesting and this has been a question I have always asked myself a lot. I think this is an interesting issue. The most surprising part is when you said how many college graduates are out of a job. To most Americans school is the key to success, but is it really? I feel like college is one way to achieve success, but it isn’t the only way to achieve success, and shouldn’t be presented in that way. How do you think we should change this stigma that Americans have about higher education.

October 17, 2019 12:05 pm

Hi Nico. I enjoyed reading this essay about education in America and I agree that we aren’t focusing on the more critical skills needed for life beyond schooling. Without them, tasks such as doing taxes are confusing to someone who isn’t educated on how to do them. In your argument about not needing to go to college, you mention some successful people who dropped out and still became wealthy. However, in regard to the difficulty in finding a job, the period of time that they lived in was probably different from the one we live in today. In a New York Times article with Bill Gates, Gates states, “Although I dropped out of college and got lucky pursuing a career in software, getting a degree is a much surer path to success.” I would check out this link

to find out more about his perspective on getting a college education.

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