Students (and their parents who might be wondering the same thing):
Why the heck are you learning all that nonsense in school (particularly higher math) that you’ll never use in the real world later in life?
Because it’s not about WHAT you learn, but the way you grow and develop your brain.
Math, music, languages, and other subjects all develop our brains in different areas. This makes us well-rounded and capable of learning things and solving life’s problems in the future–problems that ARE relevant to our survival in the real world–because we “hook on” to what we already know, or use areas of our brain that were, thankfully, previously developed.
So you may not use the math, but you’ll use the byproduct: the reasoning power the math created.
Furthermore, the mantra “use it or lose it” applies to brains and memory as much as to physical fitness. You do need to exercise your mind “muscle” frequently or it will become flabby. Our bodies are frighteningly keen and efficient: “Not using that? Great! Let’s scrap it and recycle it.”
Embrace learning not for what you’ll use the material for, but for the sake of learning itself. That simple shift in perspective may make learning your next unit a whole lot easier to stomach!
(Written February 18, 2012 and February 18, 2017.)