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If you find school really boring, that's okay 99% of the rest of your high school population does too.

What you should not do:

1) Dropout. 2) Make bad grades. 3) Skip classes.

If you find school boring, at the very least make sure you dominate it. You're at an age where you have infinite possibilities before you- Kick school completely in the ass to make sure you don't close off all those opportunities.

The kids who drop-out/make terrible grades in school because it was "too easy" for them end up creating more obstacles for themselves. Yes, you might not need a HS Diploma to get a cool comp sci job, but it is certainly much easier to get a startup job if you graduated summa cum laude from Stanford than if you dropped out of high school.

The truly smart, great, inspirational people are good at multiple things- they often say that the best programmers are also the best communicators. They also great grasp of their underlying subject matter (which might not matter if you're working at youtube, but would be relevant if you're working at a bioinformatics startup, etc.)

You're going to want to be good at multiple things. As much as you love programming now, you don't know what might happen in the future. When I was in 10th grade, I still wanted to be a doctor! So, don't close off any doors by throwing in the towel. If it's too easy for you, just dominate it.

If you still understand what I'm saying, let's make a sports analogy. Imagine LeBron James in H.S. He's head and shoulders ahead above the competition. There's no reason he should be playing. He probably could have turned pro at 15; however if he had been bored, tanked through games, not tried, he would have been labeled as a "me-first" player who didn't play his heart out, and he wouldn't have the same opportunities he had today.

So, play your heart out in high school. Life exists beyond books. As I've said in my other posts, achieve your genetic potential- not only academically, but socially, and physically as well. Develop habits that will last you a lifetime: self-discipline. strong character and ethics. stand up to the bullies. support the other geeks. build loyalty and true friendships. identify your insecurities, and blast them away.

Treat high school as an experience, not as a place to go to learn- you've mastered the learning part (at least you better by getting rockstar grades), make a good effort to master the rest.

If you think high school is boring, wait till you enter the real world. For 95% of us, the boring 9 am lecture is replace by the boring 9 am meeting. At least your class is over in 45 minutes, and if you're lucky, you can pass notes to the cute girl sitting next to you. My 9 am meetings sometimes last 2 hours and its a room of all males.

Even if you're in a startup, you'll face tedium. Fights with your board. Fights with your investors. Accounting (bleh). Trying to protect your IP by filing a patent. A lot of that stuff is tedious and boring.

A lot of times in life, you'll be faced with tedious, repetitious tasks. Having the self-discipline to power through these, as well as making lemonade from lemons- I learned these skills in high school!




I've been thinking a lot about this as around senior year of collage, I have felt that I've been wasting my time with every moment spent in class. What I don't understand is why people feel it is acceptable to say "If you don't finish X task, then you are not as good."

  The trick was that when I started working in a lab or on startup ideas, I get the same dopamine rush that was spoken of in a previous. Working on classes that I could learn on my own time, destroying my happiness and health, when there is real good I could do in the world doesn't make sense from a utilitarian point of view; yet society functions on a credentialing system (as pg spoke of in one of his essays).
Many people give the same advice: work from within the system, if you pay your dues, more doors will be open. It is insanely frustrating, and pointlessly wasteful. What would make more sense is saying that if you want to work in a given area, you need to have X experience or a certification.

After a certain point, college (undergrad anyway) is just a grind that produces nothing useful. Lip service is paid to learning and then they grade you. Sometimes this makes sense and they are a fair representation of your knowledge, other times they are a random disconnected sampling. In certain classes, grading may make sense, but it reduces learning by encouraging certain kinds of depth first thinking.

What we need to do is break out of this acceptance of how things are done. For instance, if college is a credentialing process, then why are you required to take a class in order to gain a credential? If you get a C in a class, why should you be required to take it again (with all the work that entails) rather than just retesting? Some classes require attendance. Should not all the materials be provided so that you can learn on your own? This is not always the case.

If college is a holistic learning program, we should not be grading students or grade them in a way that does not expose them to hardship later ( e.g. by never revealing them to the outside world ). In my case, I know I would more thoroughly if I wasn't facing constant deadline pressure. Perhaps we could have a situation that is more you either present some results of your research or are given an oral examination that requires quick thinking.

College could be far more fun than it is, and far more educational. As it exists, it is a tedious compromise between an education and a certification. As a society, we need to figure out what we really want, because we are most certainly doing it wrong (whether my solutions are correct or not) at every level (I could recite what I learned about graduate school, but I have gone on long enough).


Can you remove the <pre> tag on your post, it's breaking the entire page.


Can you remove the <pre> tag on your post, it's breaking the entire page.

It's not a <pre> tag, it's an automatic format that HN applies to indented text. That's why indenting is not the preferred way to show quoted text. I use quotation marks to show text quoted from a submitted article, and the HN convention of an asterisk immediately before and after a block of text quoted from the parent comment (as above, here) to show text quoted from a comment.


Add this to your userContent.css (or equivalent):

  pre { white-space: pre-wrap; }
Works wonders. :)


if this page is still broken, paste this into the url bar:

javascript: document.body.innerHTML=document.body.innerHTML+"<style>pre { white-space: pre-wrap; }</style>";

(Sorry, double comment, I think I messed something up while messing with this. Also, it kills most of the current style. Anyone have a better variant? Might be good to have as a bookmarklet.)


I'm very sorry. I have a terrible habit of double spacing with each paragraph. I wish I could change it, but the edit button is gone :(

I'll try to be more careful in the future.




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