Despite blood, sweat, and tears, appreciate education


Gabriela Paz-Soldan

Editor-in-Chief Elissa Gorman writes that students should be more aware of how fortunate they are in regards to their educational opportunities.

Elissa Gorman, Editor-in-Chief

As the summer has dwindled and the new school year has approached at lightning speed, I’m sure it would be safe to say many of us were filled with dread.  I know that, for me, the prospect of returning to waking up before 6am (gasp!) and pulling those dreaded late night study sessions could only be described as one thing: horror.

Yet, as we embark upon the daunting, sleep-deprived trial that awaits us, I hope we can remember that we are lucky – yes, I said lucky – to go to school.  Stay with me here.

It’s fairly well-known that the Northborough-Southborough area, for the most part, has privileges not everyone has access to.  According to the 2016-2017 School Profile, a typical ACT score of an Algonquin student ranges around a 23.5, while the national average is a 20.8.  Of the class of 2016, 93 percent of students planned to attend a four-year college. In an affluent school district, these successes arise partially as a result of the amazing faculty, courses and tools at our fingertips.

I, like many students, am semi-conscious of this academic opportunity.  That doesn’t stop me from protesting homework, grumbling over assignments and thinking my life is over every time I don’t do well on a test.

School is hard.  It’s not easy to balance stress and work and clubs and sports – not to mention the college applications or standardized testing or the pressure to decide a future for ourselves.

However, while I am struggling to memorize a list of vocab words on Quizlet, my friend in Mississippi is struggling to afford basic school supplies.

According to the Global Education Monitoring Report, 264 million children were denied education in 2017 due to existing financial disparities and gender gaps.  Twenty percent of children in America never graduate high school, oftentimes citing backgrounds of trauma, abuse and homelessness.

I go to school everyday with a set routine.  Books are provided for me, and I can count on taking notes in a brand new notebook from a back-to-school Staples run.  The thought of not having a place to study at night has never even crossed my mind.

As I begin to think about applying to schools, I’ve definitely felt stressed at times.  But I’m grateful that I can go to college at all and that my parents are so supportive in helping me realize my dreams. I truly can be whatever I want to be, and that’s something that cannot be said of everyone worldwide, or even everyone closer to home.

So yes, it’s easier said than done, but we could all benefit from at least trying to recognize school for the great opportunity it is.  Many people do not even have the luxury of typing away study guides on a MacBook or snapping pictures of the homework on the board.

I’m sure I’ll be complaining about an upcoming test in the hallways within a week, but at least I’ll have everything that I need to succeed readily available, and I plan to take full advantage of the resources I am fortunate to have.