One of the most important things you can learn in school is not a piece of trivia, but rather a way of thinking. Critical reasoning skills are useful on college-entrance exams and in a little thing called life. And, as Pete Seeger reminds us in the song “What Did You Learn in School Today?”—which takes on the negative messages that can be learned in history class—you can even apply those skills to school itself. Don’t just memorize what you’re told; think it out.
Not that you shouldn’t study! History class—and everything else on the schedule—can be beneficially academically and personally. But as Sam Cooke knew, if you’re not an A student, a little optimism can help in the romance department.