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When you’re rushing from class to class, hauling a ridiculously heavy backpack, it doesn’t leave much time to look for deeper meaning. Without noticing, though, you may just be learning some less obvious lessons.

1. Persistence

You’ve slaved away over the first draft of an assessment, only to receive it back covered with comments in an aggressive red font. After just a little grumbling, you get on with addressing the feedback, and end up with a stronger piece of work. You’ve learned the art of persistence, and that is one of the most important life skills of all.

2. Managing emotions

Taking tests can be the most stressful part of schoolwork, but over time, you’ve probably learned plenty of strategies to cope with the experience. This ability to manage your feelings will be useful when dealing with family and work challenges in the future.

3. Focus

Let’s face it, the classroom can be full of distractions. If you can come away from a maths class where the kid in the back row is making fart noises and the classmate to your right is constantly tapping the desk, and you can still understand the equation the teacher was explaining, you have ninja-level focus.

4. Critical thinking

Of course, some classes will ask you to think more deeply about the subject matter, but if you find yourself evaluating the source of some juicy gossip, or questioning the qualification of a social media commenter, you’ve successfully transferred the skill of critical thinking into the real world.

5. Negotiation

Nobody really enjoys group projects, right? Someone could be trying to take credit for your hard work, or turning into a dictator over every single task, or they could be leaving you high and dry right before the deadline. To survive the experience, you learn to deal with all types of personalities, negotiating your way to a result, and acquiring solid people skills on the way.

6. Empathy and open-mindedness

School surrounds you with people from different backgrounds, cultures, abilities, and beliefs. Learning what makes others tick helps you to develop empathy, which can help you greatly in relationships and in the workplace.

7. Time management

Between your commitments, whether they include school, homework, sports, social life, and work, or just a few of those, you’re juggling a lot of things at once. How many adults can come close to the time management skills demanded of a high school student?

It is often forgotten that ATAR and IB points aren’t the only things that matter in school, so if you’ve mastered some of these seven skills, stop for a moment and give yourself a pat on the back.

If you want to learn more about how to make education work for you