Jacob - Seattle, Washington
Entered on October 20, 2008
Age Group: Under 18
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The epiphany first came to me two weeks into my first year of high school. Was the education I received in elementary, and middle school any different from that of my friends? No. So why are none of them in my high school classes, why are none of them excelling, why are they failing, why when we’ve been taught the exact same things?

I believe you cannot be given an education, but rather you have to choose to accept one. This realization became evidently clear during my first year of high school.

I’ve come to realize that elementary, and middle school serve as a selection process for highs school. It determines who is willing to receive and take advantage of a given education, those who just try to get by, and those who never really seize the opportunity. I’ve grown up with friends who fit into all these categories but never really thought about why it was like that until now.

My mom’s a teacher and she tells me stories about kids who simply don’t have the will to learn, and it breaks her heart. Simply put, you cannot receive an education until you’re willing to accept one. You have to make the decision that you’re going to use education as a constant in your life, or else you choose not to.

Many people go throughout their lives without ever accepting a school based education. Many of those people go on to be successful and happy with their lives which is all that really counts, however many of those people don’t.

Although I realized that some of my friends were not in the same mind set as me when it came to education, we still remain friends and that’s all that I could hope for. I do have one friend, though, who has made a significant change in his life. Starting high school off, he was not at all focused on learning, however when he realized that he too wasn’t seeing many of his old friends in his classes he decided to make a change. He started to embrace his education and now in our junior year, he’s in two AP classes with me.

I believe that everyone has the choice to accept an education or not, and neither choice can be foreseen as right or wrong all though it may be deemed so by society, but either way I’ve decided to take advantage of my education and it’s taking me to new heights every single day.