EDUCATION IS OVER(for now...)

On June 22nd at 4pm, I felt the most alive I had felt in years as I had sat my final A Level exam and now, I'm free of compulsory education. For anyone who knows me, you will know my time in education hasn't been the easiest for a variety of reasons. From my 70% attendance during A2 to only having about 2 friends, it's been a difficult couple of years and I'm just so glad that they are over. However, my bad education experience didn't stem from sixth form, it has been existent for as long as I can remember and to now sit here(albeit bed bound with the worst ear infection ever) knowing I don't have to go back is the best feeling ever.

Obviously there's some positives of my education experience, I've grown a lot as a person and now understand just how important it is to put myself first and not let anyone treat me badly and put it down to them being my "friend" because actually, they aren't my friend and I don't need anyone who is going to make me feel unworthy of time and friendship. This blog was created as a result of me wanting to spread awareness of certain parts of life and the mind that aren't so openly discussed in the education system and so, I have learned that what you learn in schools sometimes really isn't applicable to real life. For example, since finishing my GCSEs two years ago, I have never needed to know how to calculate the circumference of a circle but I have needed to know things such as how to write an appealing CV which just isn't taught.

I was always in conflict with the schooling system as a whole because as stated above, people just didn't understand me and this isn't a quirky "OMG i'M sOO different loool xoxo" thing, this is a genuine people did not understand how to cope with me and my individual needs. Teachers and I have never been a good combination because I have never been one to just comply with what they are asking or wanting, especially when I'm aware that a certain technique will be more useful to me than what they are trying to force me to do. Obviously I can't give examples because whenever I've tried to express a teacher being directly rude to me or making me feel uncomfortable, they've threatened to kick me out of school or take me to court. It's just sad that I couldn't express how I felt because I was always told that they knew best because they were higher up than me and my opinion was basically irrelevant. Well, not anymore.

Friends in school has always been a difficult one for me, maybe that's the reason I spent the majority of year 13 by myself or maybe it's because I am so god damn sick of people pretending to be my friend and then criticising me behind my back. I mean seriously, are we still 13 years old? I look back on past friendships and I don't know whether to laugh or hate myself at how naive I was but equally, it's refreshing to see how much stronger my mind is now and I guess it shows that sometimes being by yourself is best because your self image isn't distorted by other's bitchy comments so they can feel better about themselves. Although, that's what happens when you live in a generation that is obsessed with Instagram likes and Twitter followers so if you just create a little bit of beef that will get you an influx of notifications and popularity for a couple of days then it's worth the upset that you may cause an individual. However, it's important to recognise that not everyone is like this and I have made some good friends, I just don't want to pretend to myself any longer that some of the "friends" I made were joking when they insulted me.

I hope that one day the education system will allow for creativity and individual choice because I have never felt so restricted as I did during my school years. I guess teachers hated me because of course I was the girl who dyed their hair bright red and got a nose piercing and liked to use my phone but WHO CARES? I don't understand how any of this had an impact on my learning because I came out with good grades for GCSE and hopefully I will for A Levels too. It's not about "school rules", it's about making everyone look the same, think the same and act the same to make the education boards jobs easier in brainwashing us into a lack of freedom. I told schools countless times that the reason i was on my phone is that it provided a good distraction when I was getting anxious so what did they do... take it off of me and cause me to have breakdowns in front of large groups of people because they just wanted to exert that little bit of power over me, they just fed the rumours and stereotypes and then wondered why I sat alone every lunch time.

Unless you're in my mind, I guess it's impossible to fully understand how I feel and I don't really know why I'm writing this post when all it's doing is making me realise how bad compulsory education has made me feel but it's important to have closure for these things and to be ready to move onto the next chapter of my life where at university, I will constantly be working to ensure my individual needs are met and I'm not just shoved in the corner as "that difficult student". I'm really excited for university because it'll give me a chance to start fresh and be free from those labels that have been unwillingly stuck to me.

As I finish this post, I feel a mixture of sadness and happiness. I'm so happy that this part of my life is over but I'm sad because everyone says that your school years are your best years and that really hasn't been the case for me but it's time to move on and once I get my results next month, I will never be looking back.

Goodbye school,  I won't miss you.

Lauryn

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