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.