Once again, you’re about to hit that half-way point in the school year. Your first semester is almost over, but you still have one more half a school year to go. And that much anticipated holiday break – could it come any slower? Yet perhaps what you need to make it throughout the rest of your school year is a new attitude. And there’s no one better to readjust your state of mind than Jonathan Taylor Thomas.

When 15 year old JTT thinks about school, he tries not to focus on pop quizzes and book reports. Instead, Jonathan focuses on what he can learn from school – and he’s not talking about Algebra.

“Things that kids need to do, like in high school and college, help you better prepare to be an adult,” he says. “I think that kids who leave high school or whatever are really not prepared for adulthood and it’s scary – because they need to be adults. Because once you leave the house, you’ve got to have a job, and you have to have a place to live, and you have to be able to support yourself and maybe even a kid and a wife. And being an adult is a huge responsibility and I think that is the main thing that people aren’t prepared for : the responsibility of being an adult.”

Whew!! That seems like pretty heavy stuff for a high school freshman to be thinking about at this stage in the game. Then again, JTT, who next stars in this spring’s feature film, Wild America, with Devon Sawa, isn’t your typical high school student. Aside from his regular acting gig on Home Improvement and the movie parts he manages to work into his schedule during his free time, JTT stills maintains a straight – A average with his on-the-set tutor – the result of his positive outlook on school.

“If you want to be something in life and be successful, you’ve got to stick with school, and ride it out,” he tells BB. “It’s difficult, but, you know, school is extremely important. You can’t put a value on it.”

Like many of you, JTT plans to go to college to prepare for work in the real world. Despite the fact that his successful acting career most likely will carry over into his adulthood, Jonathan wants to make sure that he has a stable fallback career – albeit something still within the entertainment industry, such as writing, producing, or directing. Already he has given much consideration to which college he wants to attend, and when we last spoke with him, he had narrowed it down to two highly regarded Universities – Yale University in Connecticut or Northwestern University in Illinois.

“I’m trying to get the best education I can,” he’s said. “You know, you’ve seen it a million times where kids are doing extremely well in this business, careers are looking great, then the next day you don’t hear about them anymore…I want to go to college, definitely. And I don’t know if I’ll be able to fit films in with college. Put it this way : College would never not happen because of a film. Films might not happen because of college.”

Of course, JTT certainly isn’t suggesting that all of you need to be stressing over what college to go tonight now – save that for senior year. What he is proposing, however, is that you start looking at school as a place to learn how to take responsibility for yourself and how to deal with others not just a dreary institution that serves up test after test and bad cafeteria food. After all, in the real world, you probably don’t need to know that the radius of a circle equals pie times it’s radius squared. But you do need to know how to solve personal dilemmas and maintain relationships.

So, in other words, debating whether to ask that gorgeous new guy in homeroom to the Christmas dance or thinking of ways to get out of P.E. class are valuable school exercises because you’re making your own decisions. (Though you should probably go to P.E.). And besides, aren’t these decision a heck of a lot more fun to make than whether to mark true or false?

Whatever the case, according to JTT, you’re still getting something valuable out of your experience at school, you just may not realize it right now. And when you do, he says, keep in mind that what you learn not only applies to yourself but to those around you as well.

“Education is, you know, a necessary tool. And it’s a great tool because you use it all the time,” he says. “And, you know, if you can do things for other people and put them above you, even better. And just always keep in mind that there are people less fortunate than you that need help, and do what you can do to help them.”

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