School’s over! Time to graduate.

Mert Susur
7 min readApr 1, 2023

Thoughts about how school bending our understanding of success.

During our childhood, we were told by our parents that in order to have a beautiful house and a comfortable life, we needed to be successful in school. There were even stages to it! Those who are older like me will know better that the exam marathon began in the fourth grade of primary school with the high school exams. Then, during the prep years, we had to learn English very well for a successful transition to the sixth grade, and during high school, we studied tirelessly, memorising question types for the university entrance exam. When you think about it, if you also went to university, your school life ends at around 22–24 years old.

Undoubtedly, there are good things that school life has given us, but what about the bad habits it has instilled in us? I think that most people in the workforce, even though they have graduated from school, still live mentally like students. Honestly, this has happened to me too, and it was a “trauma” that was hard to get rid of. Let me explain a little more about what I mean.

When we think about school life, we usually have a teacher who constantly tells us what to do. This teacher loves us and usually has a firm but fair approach, evaluating us through exams and questioning. There’s passing or failing exams, and the things that need to be done to pass are clear, such as studying well and completing homework on time while behaving well to impress the teacher. To ask a question, you have to raise your hand and wait for the teacher to give you permission to speak. The rules are simple, repetitive, and even consistent within themselves, so everything is very clear.

However, what are the differences between education and work life? In the workplace, there are usually no set rules, and the dynamics between colleagues can be more complex than just pleasing a teacher. There’s no “passing” or “failing,” and the evaluation of one’s performance is often more subjective. Additionally, success in the workplace is often dependent on more than just one’s academic abilities, and factors such as communication skills, networking, and emotional intelligence can be just as important. Therefore, while school provides us with some valuable skills and habits, it is important to recognise that the rules of the…