I and School ~

I’m now twenty years-old, which means graduated from secondary school two years ago. I’m guessing now that what you want to know is what I have accomplished after school? Oh yeah, everybody is wondering, even me!

When I was a little kid, school wasn’t really interest me. Maybe in a period of time, I hated school or I should say I thought that I hated school! Sooner, I realized that school is my life. It’s the only place I got to go to, and meet with the people I love, who I actually would never met if I didn’t attend school in the first place. I loved school; I sure miss those days I spent there.

My life has become so empty ever since I left school. I didn’t think that leaving school would make such a big hole in my life. Maybe that’s why I never made a plan for my future. The worst thing after school is that I messed up every chance to get into a university because I found no encouragement from my close people. So I stayed at home for one year without school, which I really hated and couldn’t bear. Then I decided to go to the US with my friends to study there. But for some reasons, I changed my mind. Then I went to the US with my sister, who was already about to finish school! That’s why I’m home now. I stayed in the US for two semesters, finished the ESL program only.

I in the ESL program graduation ceremony!

I used to think that maybe if I went there (to the US with my friends), things would go right. Then I thought how would I know? I absolutely can’t know at all! And if there is anyone to blame for where I am now, then that person would be me! I have had choices (everybody does) and I can’t blame anybody for making wrong decisions but myself. I discovered that recently, and yes I’m a bad decision-maker!

So, I was kind of in a shock because my education issue went wrong. But I’m over it now, I survived! School isn’t everything; it doesn’t matter much for me anymore. And what would school matter for a Saudi girl anyway if she probably will end up at home?! I mean what is the percentage for getting a job in our beloved country?! What do we go to school for?! Do we just want to gain more knowledge? Well, I think there are other sources for knowledge. Or is it to prove to ourselves that we’re capable to do what others did, i.e. they’re not better than us?! Or we just go to school to show up?! Is to be educated means to get a piece of paper only?!

All these were just thoughts to convince myself that school isn’t important. The truth is I still care! At some points, I feel angry inside because I started a journey and couldn’t complete it. I feel like forced to live in a life where I don’t belong. I may be here at home physically, but my brain is telling me: you should be there studying in school.

And the question remains: Does school really matter?

I heard all the talk about the anonymous future, and that having some kind of certificate or degree might be helpful somehow. Yet maybe we should trust God and believe that he will be always there for us. Besides, I know how it feels to achieve something and succeed. Perhaps success isn’t only in school; life itself is a school that we never graduate from! And our lives are in our hands if only we could make the right decision. The things that we want do not make life, we make life! We just have to be patient and satisfied with whatever God gave us because he knows what the best for us is.

At the end, at least I have the secondary school certificate, which maybe there are some people in the world want to get it, but they can’t! So, thanks God for what I have!

I don’t know if my thoughts are right or wrong? You tell me what you think?

And by the way, today is my birthday (12\18). Wish me a better year!


2 thoughts on “I and School ~

  1. Jeffrey Maniscalco December 20, 2011 / 10:20 am

    Hi, – discovered your web-site by pure luck when searching round the net this evening, and happy that I did! I do like the structure and colorings, but I need to mention that I’m having trouble when it loads. I’m using Classilla 9 browser for mac, and the header would not lineup completely. i am convinced I’ve used a matching layout on a customer’s internet site, but the menu seems fine on mine. I suspect the error is at this end and perhaps today’s the day to change for a better one!

  2. Leslie December 22, 2013 / 2:38 am

    AsSalaamu alaykum, Hawra! I came across this blog from an article on the Forbes website. Even if we weren’t sisters in faith, I could still identify with what you’re saying.
    I managed to graduate high school in America (but whoop-de-doo, American public school is pretty pathetic, at least when compared internationally), but my anxiety became overwhelming in college and I couldn’t manage it anymore. My anxiety about my finals was so overwhelming that I simply didn’t show up for them (avoidant behavior), failed the course, and my college career has steadily declined since. At this point I’m not wasting any more money on college just to fail again (yes, I paid for my schooling at a local community college and have depleted all of my savings from childhood). I’ve questioned the same things that you have: is college truly necessary? I too am angry with myself that I set out to do something, and failed miserably. A piece of paper does seem like a very small compensation for all that work. I’ve been told that it’s a ticket to a higher earning potential and better lifestyle, but that’s not guaranteed (especially not with the way the American economy is going, or so I hear). You could end up putting in all that work, get your “ticket”, not find a job, and then be stuck with your thousands of dollars of student loans (which is actually very common). American culture and Saudi culture are very different (obviously, lol), and one of those ways is that American kids (both girls and boys, but boys more often) are often kicked out at 18 (because that’s when parents are no longer legally obligated to house, feed, and clothe their kids). I was very fortunate that my mother didn’t, but she says I now have a year to get out (I’m 23 now). I can’t speak for your thoughts, but I envy Muslim girls that their parents don’t just kick them out once they’re no longer obligated (legally) to care for them. But this just feels like a sob-story, and I know that there are women who have it far worse than I do. So I guess I tell you this so that you can know that you’re not the only person to go through this, probably not in your own country and definitely not in the world. I have tried in the past several months to find my own motivation to learn, and I do (all the time); just not in any regular schedule. I seem to learn entirely in my own time and there’s almost nothing anyone else can do to speed that process along. But to give myself a taste, I take classes on coursera.org. Coursera has a wide range of topics and many classes for them. If you want to keep your brain in-shape and not lose your college habits (or work on developing good study habits), then I highly recommend making a free account and taking some classes on whatever interests you.
    You asked what the point was of getting an education when you’re likely going to end up staying at home and caring for your kids. I personally think, that education is far more valuable than simply getting a better job. Lifelong learning benefits your brain in so many ways and makes your life so much richer. You can see, hear, smell, touch, and taste things in ways that others can’t, and appreciate them. If you were to learn a 3rd language (I’m working off the assumption that you know Arabic and English only), you could read and appreciate the famous literature of that language (because every language that also has a writing system, inevitably has major literature), you could listen and communicate with native speakers of that language, and basically enter a new culture. Every culture has values and morals that, if contributed to the “global village”, would greatly benefit everyone (yes, even traditional American culture: specifically the hardworking, no-nonsense, do-it-yourself attitude that allowed the earliest Americans to survive and thrive). The senses of smell and taste really only applies to food, but there are a lot of great cuisines out there and if you nurtured those senses; you could enrich your diet and find new ways to use old ingredients. If I mentioned all the ways that education (even informal education) can benefit you, I’d basically be writing a book (and those would contain just my ideas).
    I also once read an article about some Saudi women who made a public protest, and were then banned from working. And it was torturous for them, since they were very highly-educated and now had nothing to do all day. Ignorance truly is bliss, but these women were far beyond ignorance. I get the sense that you fear something similar could happen to you: where you get all this education and spend so much time enriching your life and knowledge, that the life of a housewife seems mundane and incredibly bland by comparison. I would advise you to, yes, get a traditional education (or something comparable); but to also learn the “methods of survival”. Learn creativity, how to make your own path, how to find new solutions, how to weigh options and find the best one, how to prevent yourself from getting into a rut, etc. All of these ideas can be encompassed into one concept, but the English language doesn’t really have something that covers all of them. The closest English has are words like: “trailblazer”, “street smarts”, ingenuity, and “thinking outside the box”. If you teach yourself how to do these things, then you will become quite adept at survival.

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