Learning in Schools vs. Learning through Life

Every year, high school graduates leave their schools as newly independent persons and experience the world at first-hand. They are faced with two options in general: to start work immediately or to continue their studies at the university level. While some people such as Steve Jobs can be very successful without ever having to go to college, academic learning has proven to be a solid evidence of excellence in many aspects of our lives. Therefore, as appealing as learning through experience may be, high school graduates should take the academic pathway to guarantee a bright future.

The first reason for high school graduates to continue their studies to the university level is that the university nurtures learning of values through a series of soft skill trainings. In other words, the students are taught general subjects that will be useful in many career paths and that, in turn, will also shape their academic and professional disciplines. One example of such subject is computer skills that will be applied in all kinds of occupations. Other soft skill trainings that the students will get involve the development of critical thinking and solid public speaking. By joining organizations such as study groups or debating societies, the students will be shaped to become great leaders of the future. Meanwhile, university is not all about work but can be fun as well. Students can pursue their passion in arts and sports and can even represent their campuses in national or international competitions. Although these things may not be directly related to their academic subjects, these activities are equally important to their future.

source: universityinterchange.com
source: universityinterchange.com

The second reason for our youth to go to the university is the opportunity to take specialized subjects. Most students choose to take specific subjects so that they can obtain in-depth knowledge of the subject concerned. By doing so, they can become experts at those subjects in the future after they graduate from the university. The students can also develop analytical skills concerning the subjects and ultimately contribute to the science world by developing new theories and practices. Written assignments and a graduation thesis will help them to form a critical mindset with the hope of affirming (or disproving) the knowledge developed by their predecessors. A university diploma will also help the students to seek employment in the professional sectors or should they wish to continue their graduate and post-graduate studies. By venturing into higher education levels, they can pursue the academic professionalism and also expose themselves to a wider scientific audience.

Finally, students who continue their studies to the university level will make good investment for the future. With the university diploma at hand, they have a solid background to start work. Potential employers will look at their academic experiences and value a candidate which can prove that he or she can contribute to the company as excellent as the contributions they made to the alma mater. University graduates with solid knowledge in specific subjects can easily apply such knowledge into their jobs. They generally can work well independently as well as in a team without much supervision. Even if they end up doing something that is totally unrelated to their education, they can use the basic soft skills they learned from the university and adapt into the new environment with relative ease.

source: wingate.edu
source: wingate.edu

To sum up, going to the university is a good choice for high school graduates as it ensures a clear path to a bright future. Not only the students may learn something specific and useful to become experts at what they will do, they will also become disciplined men and women through the basic soft skills they acquired from the books and professors in their schools. All in all, the students will reap the full benefit from the solid education at the university.


This essay was an assignment submitted to University of California at Irvine’s “Getting Started with Essay Writing” class; a MOOCs program held jointly with Coursera.

6 thoughts on “Learning in Schools vs. Learning through Life

  1. Banyak orang kaya dunia yang gak lulus universitas, bro. Apalagi konglomerat Indonesia era orde “penak jamanku tho” rata-rata cuma lulusan S2 alias sekolah ongko loro, πŸ™‚


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