Hi School, Bye School

Middle school and high school- places of fond memories or forgotten sorrows?

Everyone remembers endless days spent in classrooms, never ending memorization of what we considered to be nonsensical facts and answering to teachers.

Oh yes, days I wish I would never have to go back to! Fortunately, I am near the end of my formal education- and I think that now I can share some insights with you about those years that everyone has to pass through.

Years when we hung out with our friends worried if were good enough for them, years when we were under extreme pressure to succeed and have good grades, years when we thought that teachers knew everything…

I remember being in middle school when my worries about grades were filling my mind and in order to escape them I would daydream about Summer holidays. In fact, when school was nearly over (when 50 working days until the end were near), I used to make a small calendar in which I crossed every day that passed. In that way I could measure how much I have already „survived“.

I had so many activities apart from the school- ranging from learning languages to playing tennis and piano. Actually, sometimes only free time I had while I was in the middle school were those 5 minutes just before falling asleep.

Near the end of middle school I started to think over about my high school admissions and how would days in that new institution look like. I was sad to leave my old friends, but was really curious to find out what my new friendships would be.

In that search of my ideal clique I changed a couple of high schools. On the on hand I wanted to attend same classes as my old friends, but on the other hand I wanted to meet entirely new colleges.

Finally combination of bad influence and failing grades made me change high school 2 years before its end. Although it was really stressful to have changed classes in the middle of school, it was a positive change 🙂

Learning from my experience- my advice to everyone in middle school or high school is: choose your friends wisely, take care of yourself (don’t drink, smoke or go out too much), study, have fun and try not to stress too much over small stuff.

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We Learn For School And Not For Life

Non per scholae sed vitae discimus or in other words we don’t study for school, but for life.

How true is really this statement? I finished high school 9 years ago, have been since then in the institutions of higher education and I must admit that school doesn’t prepare you well for the realities of  everyday life. What we mostly do in school these days is memorizing endless material.

We don’t get encouraged to use our creativity and if we differ in any way from the norm, we often get criticized. I was a gifted student and because no one in high school recognized my talents, I struggled a lot with school. I was way ahead of my colleagues in the terms of knowledge, but I was somehow always getting bad grades- I just could not learn all that given data by heart and present it to teachers. We also don’t learn how to follow directions, but instead we learn how to pretend that we agree with our teachers.

Skills as how to find a job in this economy or how to start a job, what career do we want to pursue or how to manage taxes are not being taught at most institutions. I didn’t even know what a cover letter was when I was looking for a job during high school, let alone how to write it.

Apart from that, I suffered from low self esteem years after high school because I was always given bad grades. I felt enormous anxiety when I would have to speak or answer teachers’ questions in front of the class. I would also compare myself to other more successful students and beat myself down for not having achieved the same „success“.

In Croatia, every couple of years we hear that our educational system will be reformed, but from my opinion no one knows which ideas to implement.

Therefore, education still stands as one big experiment and all I can say to new generations is- you’ll survive, just like we did.

Real life Cannot Be Found On Facebook

I have been using Facebook since I was about 17 years old.

My journey through social media started with Myspace, then Facebook followed (now days I like Twitter the most).

I first set up my Facebook account because it started to be very popular in my country and as I was in high school and you have to be popular in high school- therefore: Facebook!

Facebook was very much different ten years ago than it’s today, but some facts of that social network remained the same- everyone is posting about their happy and often fake lives. Everyone is partying, drinking and enjoying life. When I was younger, I often thought that my high school classmates were like that in real life, but as time passed by, I started to realize how far from the truth that was. Actually most of my colleagues were lost and depressed.

Not much of that fun postings were really true. Unfortunately I was really in a bad mood myself prior to that realization, but now I can observe their posts like a more experienced and mature adult. Actually when I realized that I don’t have to know anything about life of many of my so called „friends“ I was finally free.

While I was in high school, everyone was always gossiping so you had to stay in touch with who got drunk last night, who skipped classes, who made out with someone. Today my Facebook wall is bombarded with pictures of kids and weddings which I also don’t quite understand- shouldn’t photos of kids be kept private?

The best advice I could give myself is to quit Facebook, but unfortunately like all habits that have to be broken, it is not going to be easy. I already deactivated my account multiple times, but I always came back.

In reality today, I think you can only replace one social network with another, so perhaps I can quit Facebook and then start to write more on other platforms and connect with those people whose opinion I share with.

That’s a good start.

Sounds Like A Melody

I listen to music on average for at least 10 hours a day.

I listen to it playing on the radio while I am working.

I listen to it while I am walking through the city.

I listen to it while I am driving in the car.

Honestly, music is something I am almost addicted to.

Music is pure magic: it puts you asleep, it makes you happy, it helps you get through the tough times. It inspires you, it encourages you, it empowers you.

According to my taste in music which is mostly disco, funk, soul, chill out, old school rap and music from the 80’s my personality is creative, outgoing & headstrong which description I completely agree to.

Often I listen to the same song on repeat for dozen of times, for a couple of days or even months. Some songs never get boring to me. Also I almost always rememeber important moments in my life and song that was playing while something was happening.

When I was younger (especially in elementary school) MTV dictated my taste in music. After school I used to watch videos on TV and I sometimes waited for hours to hear my favorite song playing. Then, I would tape it so I could listen to it later for as long as I would like. In high school I was choosing friends based on their musical preference.

Nowdays I listen to songs that I choose by myself on Youtube. There are many channels with good and relaxing chill out music that I prefer listening to. I even started listening to sounds from the nature- when I am trying to fall I sleep I put sound of the rain on play 🙂 It sounds heavenly beautiful.

I especially love how bass can give more deeper sound to songs. I always adjust it on my Ipod according to the mood I’m in.

It was funny how people in high school used to dress up according to their musical taste- rappers in baggy clothes, darkers in black, those who liked pop music fashinable…

Everyone has his own taste in music, and if you ask me, as long as the music plays, it is fine with me.

Rock and all that jazz 🙂

You Can Do The Math

In my country, these days are starting entrance exams for universities.

In those, among many subjects, students often have to pass math. Since I don’t have fond memories of my math classes and exams, I feel deeply sorry for them.

Math was always my weakest point throughout my educational endeavours. I was good in it in elementary school when we had really good teacher who explained it in, to us young students and kids, understandable manner. On contrary, high school years became my worst nightmare regarding addition, subtraction and all that stuff.

I actually could not find a way how to become good in math- did my performance stem from not practicing it enough or my little brain could not grasp its concepts.

Math was also a big problem for most of my classmates, so I soon came to conclusion that it is just difficult. Probably if it was explained thruogh some real life examples we could connect it with something familiar and it would become easier.

Unfortunately, none of our teachers could do it, they could not explain teaching material well. I also think that some students are better with words, some with art and some with biology and science. I am surely not in the math appreciation club 🙂

In many school systems grades depend on how teacher percieves your effort or in other words how he likes you. In regards to that I have one memorable experience with my high school teacher- I was writing a final exam for a higher grade and although I didn’t obtain enough score for it, my teacher said I deserve a better grade and gave a C to me 🙂

Sometimes, math is difficult, but being hard working and nice also pays off.