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What can be done to get the most out of one's schooling? What would you change about your education experience?

From other people's opinions and my experiences in the American Midwest, it seems most schools focus on their students' test performance and few classes prioritize true, authentic learning. I was disappointed when the classes I took during my first year of college -- or perhaps the aspirations of all but a fraction of my classmates -- were a continuation of this mindset.

I think I'm missing something and would love to hear your thoughts. What can students do to get the most out of their education? What do you wish you had done differently, if anything? Is this something I have to discover on my own? Thanks in advance for your insight.


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    Aug 30 2011: I would have loved to have been able to follow my own interests younger instead of a forced curriculum. its easy to learn basic arithmitic and reading, america proved it. buto have been able to focus my studies earlier in to what I wanted to learn, would have not made me so resentful towards our education ,private and public, systems.
    • Sep 2 2011: Hi Joseph,
      I can relate; it's definitely frustrating at times. Oh the other hand, being required to take certain courses is beneficial in the sense that students can discover they have interests they weren't aware of before. Based on my school's system, it seems the best compromise would be to lessen the requirement -- rather than take two classes in each area, students could take one and have more time to explore their interests or take electives (or take up another major -- I know I'll have to stay in school a little longer to get my second one). That's what I wish they'd do, anyway! Thanks for your comment.

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