By Wayland Fong:
Every individual strives to find a purpose. For some, it may even take a lifetime to find the career that makes them truly happy. One may grow up believing that he will become an engineer, and later discover that acting is his true calling. The American education system recognizes this need within every individual and, as a result, provides opportunities such as the art requirement. The art requirement is vital in maintaining well-balanced students, differentiates our school system from that of other countries and is essential in any future profession. High school is one of the only places where a person has both the time and privilege to choose from a wide variety of fine arts classes. Throughout the four years of high school, students can channel their curiosity through classes that go beyond the information provided by a textbook. Whether through a theatre or graphic design class, students can find their own form of creative expression.
[pullquote]Whether through a theatre or graphic design class, students can find their own form of creative expression.[/pullquote]
These classes also stimulate the mind in a different way from a math or science class. For example, a music class fosters self-discipline and diligence useful later on in life. Similarly, taking a dance class or theatre class can make one more self-aware and have a better stage presence, which comes in handy when public speaking. Whether it is presenting a new product for a company or creating a logo for a small business, art can play a prominent role in one’s future career.
While other countries like Chile and Brazil force people to choose their profession at the start of their high school education, the American education system gives students the opportunity to make their decision after four years of trial and error, allowing students to change their minds as they see fit. Even though other countries go more in depth with the assumed profession, students do not have the option of changing their minds. While there are those who know what they are interested in from an early age, most do not. In America, art classes foster innovation found nowhere else in the world. Entrepreneurship is prosperous in America because people like Mark Zuckerberg are able to incorporate knowledge with art. Even the fonts loaded onto Apple computers are a homage to a typography class Steve Jobs once took. Although many may not think so, fine arts classes are essential in the development of youths. They give people life skills that cannot be gained anywhere else, and their benefits can be reaped no matter what path one takes in life.