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3.
1a. Descriptive of the many violent, scary and/or emotionally difficult events that give young people their "smarts" and teach them about the daily struggle to survive in the streets.

1b. Something that an ignorant fuckwit who wouldn't know what to do with a book even if he/she owned one says when he/she finds out that you went further in education than him/her.
1a. "I, on the other hand, am a fully rounded human being, with a degree from the University of Life, a diploma from the School of Hard Knocks, and four gold stars from the Kindergarten of Getting The Shit Kicked Out Of Me." - Blackadder

1b. "College? Me? Nah. School of hard knocks, mate, school of hard knocks."
by Dave June 16, 2004
 
1.
Life itself; knowledge (and wisdom) gained by working for it, and not necessarily from a book.
You can learn more common sense from the school of hard knocks, than from most any university.
by tradesman June 15, 2004
 
2.
To learn something (usually a life lesson) the hard way. (Some say the best way to really learn is to learn from your mistakes.)
She was street wise... having learned many a lesson about life at the school of hard knocks.
by PlaceHolder June 16, 2004
 
4.
The practical experience of life, including hardship and disappointments.

Often used by those who couldn't/didn't go to college for whatever reason and instead went through hardships and disappointments.
He pulled himself up by the bootstraps and made his way through the school of hard knocks.
by scarletswitchblade June 14, 2004
 
5.
1. A Unestablished yet active education system located worldwide with only One class: Street Smarts 101 in wich you learn from your enviroment & the costly mistakes you make

2. Street Education of the obvious or Street Common Sense
"Whats that nerd doing around here? He ain't from the School of hardknocks"

"Girl you know better then to walk through Centarl Park at knight wearing that skimpy Skirt, you better go back to the School of Hardknocks"
by Platinum Pistolz June 15, 2004
 
6.
The streets
i graduated from the school of the hard knocks
by Terry June 14, 2004
 
7.
Learning a lesson the hardway.
IE: you get your girlfriend pregnant and you did not use protection.

School of hard knocks says: Use protection because now you have another mouth to feed.
by lilshawn June 14, 2004