If you have been following me for a while on any social media, then you probably know that I’ve just finished my GCSE’s, which are exams you take at the age of 15/16 for those of you not in the UK. I actually just received my results yesterday, as I’m writing this and I am happy to say that I’m really proud of what I got! Now my GCSE’s are over, I have officially finished school and have been accepted to go to a college (about 40 minutes from where I live) to study photography and I couldn’t be more excited!!! I’m nervous as well of course, but I have high hopes that the next 2 years of my education won’t be as gruelling as the last 5.
That brings me onto the topic of today’s post. I can confidently say that the last 5 years of my life have been the worst, all because of my school. I was told time and time again things like ‘You’ll miss it when you leave’, ‘school is important’ and ‘you don’t really hate it’. I can assure you that after being out of school for just over 2 months now, I haven’t missed the place once, I am beginning to realise more and more just how not important school is and I still despise the place and everyone in it.
Now that is all very negative and I am going to try and keep this post a little more lighthearted, but I’m not going to lie to you and tell you that I loved school because the truth is that I would love to burn the place down. I was bullied, I suffered and am likely to suffer with severe anxiety and depression for the rest of my life because of the INSANE amount of pressure they put on us and the complete lack of support for anyone who was anything but a cardboard cut out of their perfect student. We all know the education system is a problem and I’d like to say that something is being done about it, but realistically, it isn’t. So, in light of that terrible fact, I want to give you 5 pieces of REAL advice that will hopefully help anyone out there who is still in the education system.
Also don’t take any of this the wrong way. Education is important and learning is so much fun, but the school system is a completely different thing. I strongly advice you to take every learning opportunity you can and throw yourself into the subjects you love, but trust me when I say that your health is the most important thing and 90% of what school teaches you is a load of rubbish. Just use your common sense. ❤
I’m going to warn you now that some of them are a little bit ‘radical’ and you may not agree with me, but this is just what I’ve learnt. Oh and also there is likely to be a bit of swearing because there really isn’t any other way to express the amount of shit the school system comes up with, so now you’re forewarned, let’s get into it…
School is little more than a carefully designed prison to teach you to conform: don’t – I told you some of these were a bit radical! I promise this is the most radical one though and the others are a lot more tame (relitvely speaking anyway), but allow me to explain. I’m sure most people have heard the comparisons between school and prisons before: locked in, shitty food, only allowed to eat, drink and pee at designated times, no phones etc. All of this is true and shockingly accurate, but I am talking more from a mental point of view than a physical point of view. What I mean by that is that from day one when you set your foot into school (especially secondary school), they teach you to sit still, put your hand up to answer questions, that homework is more important than your health and if you fail this random math test at the age of 11, your life is going to be ruined. Well spoiler alert!…. it won’t be! School children are taught a government specified syllabus of things and are told that if we get anything less than 100% in everything, then we’re a failure, we’ll be disowned and we’ll end up homeless. It seems ridiculous when I say it our right like that, but I have heard 12 year olds expressing such fears and isn’t that just so messed up??? Don’t worry if you think like this because everyone does at some point. I did for years and it took me just as long to teach myself that that was not the case, that my worth was not defined by a score out of 100 or a letter on a page and you can too. Believe me when I say that it wasn’t easy to unlearn everything that had been drilled into me over the last decade of my life, but you can do it and I strongly advise that you do. Most of what they say is bullshit and you will be so much happier if you just be you and do you, even if ‘you’ doesn’t aline with their rules or ideals.
Be kind, but take no shit – You may have heard this one elsewhere, but trust me it is TRUE! I’m sure everyone has been told to ‘turn the other cheek’ or to ‘treat others like you want to be treated’ and there is some use and truth to those, but they only go so far. I agree that you should treat everyone how you want to be treated (i.e. with kindness, respect and honesty), but I absolutely DO NOT believe in ‘turning the other cheek’. I’m not saying you should go around slapping people of starting fights, but if someone is being horrible, you have every right to put them in their place. Don’t sink to their level and bully them back, but either just tell them to leave you alone, come up with a witty comeback or go and tell someone. Yes they might call you a snitch, but they were already calling you names anyway, so what does one more mean? What I’m trying to say is that you should indeed treat others as you wish to be treated and everyone deserves a chance, but you don’t have to take shit from anyone, nor do you owe anyone a second chance, so be kind, but take no shit because believe me when I tell you that you don’t have time for drama.
No one cares about you (most of them don’t even know your name, so do what you want)
‘No one cares about you‘ sounds really harsh, but I mean it in the sense that literally no one is going to notice or remember if your hair is messy or if you wear bright yellow shoes or if you get an answer wrong in class. No. One. Cares. Trust me when I say that they all have their own lives and problems to worry about and are probably wondering whether anyone has noticed that their hair is messy or that they got that answer in maths wrong 3 years ago. They aren’t. Trust me. So do what you want and be as weird as you like because they probably don’t even know your name. To prove it I’ll tell you a story of mine: I was and still am very quiet, so very few people even knew my name and if they knew of me at all, then I was simply Zoe’s friend (she’s my BFF btw). A year and a half ago I decided I was bored of it and also conforming to the schools stupid rules, so i died my hair bright red! You are only allowed natural hair colours at my former school, so I stood out like a goddamn traffic light and yet STILL no one knew my name. I was then just ‘the girl with the red hair’. Some people came and said they thought it was cool that I was brave enough to say ‘fuck you’ to their school rules, but then everyone moved on the next day and it was never mentioned again. So if I can dye my hair bright red and only be talked about for about 3 hours, then you can wear those shoes or not spend 3 hours curling your hair!
Maths is a load of bullshit (and so is Shakespeare)
I’m sorry if anyone likes Maths (or Shakespeare for that matter), but I hate them and I’m about to tell you why it is A-OK if you hate them to….. Ready? They are completely useless…! Controversial I know, but the only person I’ve ever met that likes maths is my mum and she’s an accountant, so I reckon she’s allowed and I am here to tell you now that you will NEVER need to use Pythagoras or solve a quadratic equation or use Sine or whatever unless you actually do maths for a job! So, unless you want to be an accountant or something like my mum, you don’t need to care about maths because you won’t use it. Learn enough to scrape a pass or get into whatever college or sixth form you want and then forget it all. The same goes for Shakespeare and Geography (seriously who the fuck needs Geography!?), History, most of Science and literally any other subject you aren’t doing for a job, so don’t worry if you suck at something because the chance of you using it are about the same as getting a decent school dinner.😑😒
It really is true (as far as we know anyway), so PLEASE DON’T turn down opportunities when you get them! I understand it’s harder when you’re young because your parents might not let you skip school for a day to go to that concert or go to that photoshoot opportunity you were offered or go to that event. I was and am INCREDIBLY lucky to have such amazing parents who understand that you are only a kid once and somethings really are once in a life time, but I understand that too many people don’t. That being said though, if there is a way to convince your parents or to just do it without permission if your that gutsy, then do it! Missing one maths class, one day of school or hell even one week of school will not ruin your life. We’ve already discussed how pointless most of the stuff they teach you is anyway and I think a little bit of catch up work (if you even care that much that is) is well worth it to take those once in a life time opportunities. So don’t turn down sleepovers and parties in favour of studying all night, don’t miss that concert 3 hours away by your favourite band just because your teacher said you could easily get an A* in Geography if you just sacrificed sleep, mental health and maybe your firstborn too…. okay that’s an exaggeration, but sometimes it doesn’t feel like it. What I’m saying though is that, as far as anyone knows, we ONLY LIVE ONCE, so don’t waste your one chance at life studying for subjects you don’t care and don’t need. Do the things you want and you will be much happier for it!
And those are my 5 pieces of advice for anyone still in school, going to school or even to University really. I did warn you that they were going to be a bit radical, so do excuse me if you don’t agree and I hope my swearing didn’t offend anyone, but I felt it was necessary to get my point across. I think the best way to summarise everything I just said would simply be to fuck the system and live your life how you want to as long as you’re not hurting anyone. Oh and also maths is bullshit!
I hope you enjoyed this slightly radical and certainly not child-friendly advice post for anyone going back to school and I hope you will take some of my advice and life lessons on board because they really are true. Every single one. Remember that grades don’t define you and that even if you feel stuck right now, it can and WILL get better! There is space for everyone’s dreams in this world and it is up to you to make them happen, so maybe you should stop reading this and go start on them! (remember to subscribe to my blog and youtube channel first of course tho! 😂)
Goodbye for now!
Over and Out