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Beyond Stickers and Stars

“I study myself more than any other subject. That is my metaphysics, that is my physics.” – Michel de Montaigne

Education isn’t about proving to some authority figure that you read the book, wrote the paper, watched the video, or did the assignment. Education is about you. It’s about your priorities, your interests, your values, your needs, your dreams, and your quest to learn things that will help you express those elements in your everyday life.

The world will always have opinions about what you should know, what you should study, what you should do with your life, and so on. And as good as it is to be open-minded about all of those things, none of them are more important than your right and responsibility to orient your education around understanding who you are, discovering what you want, and creating the results that matter most to you.

If you’re studying for the primary purpose of pleasing others, avoiding punishment, or fitting in, you’re doing it wrong. The opportunity to learn is much too valuable for you to reduce it to secondary goals like getting good grades or making your parents feel proud. Bring the joy back to learning. Bring the life back to learning. Bring your true self back to learning. The rewards of learning for yourself far exceed any stickers and stars your teachers can give you.

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