Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach

School Doesn’t Prepare You For Life

Education is invaluable. It teaches our kids how to think and solve problems. It fosters equality. It boosts the economy. It promotes self learning. It offers perspective. And it has countless other benefits.

But education also has its flaws. A myriad of them. 

The largest one being, school doesn’t prepare you for life.

Your ‘A’ for biology won’t help you when the next economic crisis obliterates your odds of buying a home. Your law degree won’t help you when your partner grows distant for no clear reason. And your ‘summa cumme laude’ won’t help you when your father dies.

And it makes sense.

The primary goal of education is to turn you into a valuable economic asset. Filling job vacancies is the endgame. 

This means a school’s focus is to train good workers.

Since you don’t need life skills to earn a paycheck and pay taxes, most school curricula don’t include classes on self-reflection, time management, or relationships.

So how do you prepare yourself for the most human experiences? Like doubt, grief and despair?


Books (the fictional kind) talk to us about the truths of life. And they build empathy.

Unlike movies, fiction forces you to look through another person’s eyes. You get to feel things you’d otherwise never feel. And you learn that everyone else is a ‘me’ just like you.

So once you put away the book and return to yourself, you’re no longer the same. You’ve changed.

Not only do you have a better understanding of others. You now also have tools to deal with your own feelings and problems.

Books are where you learn the real lessons of life, not school.

By Jeroen Elsing
Ex-lawyer turned relationship coach