I Don't Remember Learning This

This essay has a total of 1476 words and 5 pages.

What it means to be educated today is very subjective. To truly be educated means to have
completed 12 years of primary education, elementary school through high school. To be
educated can also mean having some sort of degree. When asking myself what I think it
means to be educated I have a hard time agreeing completely with society. I think to be
educated is not solely based on a formal education but on life experiences. Life
experiences are needed to fill in the grey areas because a formal education makes most
things out to be black and white, at least from my experience.

I?m not at all saying that a formal education is not important because of course it is.
If weren?t beneficial in anyway it would be obsolete by now. Some of the benefits of
formal education are math, reading and writing. These are basic tools needed to survive
in modern society. Formal education also teaches us how to speak, act in some social
situations and discipline. These are all practices that form the backbone of an
education, but they are not what make education entirely.

If formal education were all that it took to become educated I think this world would be a
lot better, but that is just not the case. A formal education makes most things to be
black and white. The answer is this and not this, you can do this but not this. There is
just so little true-life experience to all of it that it just can?t make up the whole
spectrum of education. Another downfall is the structure of formal education. When a
school system has a certain curriculum and structure it seems to make people think the
same way and limits creativity. Granted, schools do try and make this not a problem but
it isn?t easy. For example, a friend of mine attended Berklee College of Music and
recently dropped out. He found that once in the college they either make you a jazz
musician or metal musician. This was not the education he was looking for.

True-life experiences are what make the biggest impact on education. Some of my best
experiences come from trips I have taken to other countries. In school and from my
parents I heard that hitchhiking was dangerous and that I should never do it. That
statement may be true but not always, from what I learned. What I arrived in Reykjavik,
Iceland in late 2010 my friend and I were lost trying to find our hotel. We decided to
hitchhike because we had heard that it was a safe way to get about Iceland. Within
minutes we were picked up and then dropped off at our hotel. I wouldn?t hitchhike in the
Bronx but I felt it was safe to do so in Iceland and these decisions were made for
experiences I had.

Through my travels I have also learned a lot from the friends I have made. In London in
March 2010 I made friends with three guys from the city of London. Two of the men were
from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates and the third was from England. I learned a lot
about Middle Eastern culture that I would not have in school. I also learned British
slang, the best places in London that the locals go and other invaluable things that would
not have been learned in a high school course. People you meet are an education of their
own. Each person has something new to teach you and it is even better when his or her
culture is different than yours.

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