Graduation Speech : My Education

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My education experiences are very uniquely different from the majority of college students. I was homeschooled for my entire life until I entered college. The only teacher I ever had was my mother and the only classroom I ever sat in was my kitchen table. Being homeschooled awarded me many distinctive opportunities that other students weren’t entitled to. It also meant that I was shielded from the parts of the education system that my mother didn’t agree with or support. For instance, I didn’t take graded tests and didn’t received grades on the essays I wrote. Instead when I took a test, I would help to check over it to understand any mistakes that were made. Similarly, the essays I wrote would be discussed and then often re-written as examples of the writing process. Through the course of my education I was encouraged to learn for the sake of learning, not to strive for the highest grade and skip over the value within the knowledge. Another key difference that separated my education from that of the vast majority of other students was that I was never subjected to standardized testing starting at a young age. The main purpose of standardized testing is to test the knowledge of students, to see what they know and what they don’t, and to measure them against other students. This wasn’t a valued philosophy in my education, that a single test could determine certain outcomes in a person’s life. As I began high school, I realized that my goal was to attend a competitive liberal arts college. As I began to do research on colleges, however, I realized that it would be a challenge to show them that I was able to complete college level work despite my unique educational background. Colleges who utilize a holistic approach use many fact... ... middle of paper ... ...od enough to guess and when it was better to simply let the question slide so as to not risk a deduction. I wanted to make an education guess for any question that I didn’t know the answer to, I disliked the feeling of having to evaluate how confident I was in each bubble I filled in. When the test was over, there was a strange feeling that the several hours that elapsed were important. I didn’t want one test to define me, but I knew that it would be viewed that way; if I did well it would prove to colleges that I belonged, if I did poorly it might indicate that an untraditional education wasn’t as beneficial as a standard one. People always say to not let numbers define you, whether that be test scores or a final grade, but on that day it felt like those numbers that I had achieved did define me and would determine whether the sixteen previous years were worthwhile.
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