Is School A Waste Of Time?

There is a raging argument about whether school is a waste of time and money. This argument is surprisingly viral- appearing on several online and offline avenues. Interestingly, opposing views occasionally come the most unexpected places; highly read individuals insisting that school is a scam, while successful individuals who attained their success without formal education claim that they wish they had completed their education.

In many cases, personal dissatisfaction with one’s life is the reason why this argument comes up; many people are unhappy with the way their lives have turned out, and so they believe that if they followed a different path, things would be better.

That raises the question, would the general population be better off without formal education? In other words…

Is School A Waste Of Time?

School started in ancient times, and played an important role in shaping the world as we know it; by training the younger generation on knowledge that has previously been gathered by older generations. That is basically what school was designed to be; a place of training, and a depository of knowledge.

With that in mind, the following areas of knowledge, which remain important to society are highlighted below, as a way of showing how important school is or was.


School has been necessary to train medical practitioners since the ancient times. Even today, nobody would be willing to be operated by a “doctor” who did not receive training at a recognized institution.


Engineering is all about teaching the principles of designing and building things. Things that come about through engineering include houses and other structures, bridges, stadiums, and machines.

Engineering made commercial production of clothes possible, and even food processing comes from engineering.


Understanding of chemicals, and the knowledge of how to harness their properties is a highly prized aspect of knowledge that man has gained. Students who find themselves studying this branch of science should consider themselves extremely lucky.


Physics is the study of matter, energy, motion and force. It is also the study of how the various forms of energy interact with one another. This is an extremely important branch of science; it is responsible for many of the breakthroughs that humanity has attained today.

These highlighted fields are important areas of study that must be acquired in school. However, they are also the very reason why people feel that school is a waste of their time.

Why Do Many Students Feel That School Is A Waste Of Time?

Many students feel that school is a waste of time because they have no interest in medicine, physics, chemistry or further mathematics, and yet they are forced to spend hours in classes listening to teachers speak about topics they are uninterested in.

Others argue that school does not teach them to understand, but forces them to memorize facts and figures. They say that school does nothing to prepare them for the future, and that schools does not equip them for their future careers.

Furthermore, some point out the competitive nature of school; as if life is a competition in which the person with better memorization skills becomes most successful. Schools only teach students how to study for exams; memorize and pass.

Too Much Information is another problem with traditional schooling; students are forced to consume much more information than they can handle; and that just sucks all the fun out of it. But…

Should Learning Be Fun?

Many argue that school, in its present form is not fun at all. They also stress that young people are better able to learn in a relaxed, fun environment. That raises the question; should school be fun?

While a healthy dose of fun is necessary, it seems that too much fun would be counter-productive. Life is serious business, and if young people go about partying their days away they may end up being grossly unprepared for the stress and pressures that come with regular living, and with aspiring to become anything at all in life.

Some also say that school is outdated because despite its best efforts, the school system largely offers unsatisfactory results, and should be replaced with modern methods. They point out that most self-motivated people get whatever information from the internet.

How Many Young People Are Motivated?

Put another way, “how many young people would actually learn something without a school to force them?” Yes, most of the information that young people need to pursue their desired careers are available on the internet, but even with free internet access, most people would not go through with the process of finding that information.

The number of self-motivated young people who have found other ways to succeed at their careers is just not sufficient to suggest that school is a waste of time, or that if the school system as we know it was abolished today, society would become better for it.

Yes, the logical next line of thought is that there are many millionaires and billionaires who did not go to school. That conjecture is examined below.

Do You Need School To Become Rich?

There are many successful people  who never completed school; names like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Richard Branson, Sean Combs, Larry Ellison, Steve Madden, and so on. That is enough evidence to show that it is in fact possible to become successful without the advantage of a college education.

If Bill Gates could do it, so can you. Right? Do the success stories of the names cited above prove beyond doubt that school is a scam? Find the answer to this all important question below.

Should I Quit School?

All the billionaires in the world put together number less than 1% of the world’s population. The men cited above are without doubt exceptionally gifted individuals whose mental capacity, and creativity are difficult to find.

Rather than prove that the average person is likely to become successful by quitting school, the cases cited above prove that in 99% of instances, people who quit school do not go on to become billionaires or millionaire CEOs.

That is just critical thinking. It is in no way a prediction of the outcome of anyone’s life. If a person is talented enough, and knows exactly what he wants to do, then it may be profitable to pursue it outside the four walls of a classroom.

But make sure that the reason for wanting to quit school is that your talent is not been sharpened. This is completely different from those who want to quit because they find school to be “not fun.”

People Are Just Lazy

Most people are inherently lazy, and need to be forced to do anything. School is one of the few institutions which helps to correct that inherent laziness by forcing them to study, however tedious they may find it.

Therefore, school actually does more good than it gets the credit for; it helps young people build that mental fortitude, that mental stamina to stay on something, even when that thing may be difficult or unpleasant.

If people who are just lazy are allowed to quit school just because they are lazy, then they are very likely to be ruined by that fatal error. Furthermore, society is going to become worse for it; nations are going to be full of people with no discipline, no desire for work, and no interest in anything other than fun.

Further Reading:

Key Takeaways

Despite the obvious shortcomings of the education system, school is only a waste of time for those who know exactly what they want, and who know that what they want lies outside the purview of the traditional school system.

While the internet is a very good source of information, it cannot enforce discipline which is a core part of the school system.

Those with less than outstanding talents may therefore find that school is the best option they have; it can equip them with skills, certification, and an added confidence boost- which can serve to make one more prepared for life, and the challenges it brings.

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