School occupies 12 years of our lives. If you add, pre-school and college to this, it goes up to 18-24 years, probably even more for some! Many of us fondly look back at our school times where our biggest deliverable was homework, the world was simpler and the cares were smaller. School was a place to meet friends, learn new stuff and play, in PE periods or otherwise!
Though, looking back now, I feel school didn’t truly prepare me for the life that lay beyond. I didn’t know much about how the real-world works, and wasn’t much sure of my authentic interests or abilities. I didn’t know face failures and setbacks. And I for sure, didn’t know how to manage my personal finances when I started earning.
Schools provide these microcosms of absolute certainty and order. Every day, every month, every year we are told what exactly is to be done, and not done. The decisions on which subjects to study, how much to study, what the right answers are, are made for us. And you win only when others do not. It is a sum zero game.
I feel school didn't prepare me for the life that lay beyond. I didn't know how the real-world works, and I wasn't sure of my interests and abilities.
The real world is quite the opposite – there are decisions to be made every day, you often play/work in groups and you often win/succeed in groups. Also, there are seldom absolute right or wrong answers. Many of the answers are judgement-calls and contextual. While we try and organise our lives for structure and consistency, uncertainty is pretty much the undercurrent that exists everyday – sometimes a mild ripple, and other times a wave.
I wish I had some practice with facing uncertainty, holding my own and making decisions in my pre-teens and teens. So that when I eventually emerged out into the real-world, I was that much better prepared. I spoke with people from diverse backgrounds on what they wished they had learnt at school. The conversations strengthen my conviction to have a larger acknowledgement and dialogue around this topic.
What is your WILTAS?
What do you think would happen if Virat Kohli was to walk out to bat in a crucial match being played in foreign conditions with no net practice? Assured or nervous?
All of us want to be more confident and assured in our actions. And we wish the same for our children. But what is the nature of confidence? And how do we build it?
Each one of us has learnt so much after we passed out from school. If you were taken back in time and put in front of your 12 year old self, what advice you would share?