Coming home from the library today (where I was busy working on ‘As the Black Crow Flies’) I passed by my old school. It was lunchtime and the minions that are know as students were making their way up and down the street; going to get some lunch or gather somewhere for a cheeky smoke. I couldn’t help but look back to my own school days.
I thoroughly detested school!
Although, that didn’t happen until I reached secondary school. Perhaps it had something to do with becoming a teenager and being filled with the usual angst, rebellion and ‘I’m so lonely and alone and no one loves me’ phase. Even though I did go through that (I think I was perhaps more sensitive than most boys at that age) I still can’t contribute my hatred towards school to that alone.
Even know, instead of the being naked in public dream (the most often quoted dream of anxiety) mine is being late for school, not having my homework done, being given out to by a teacher, forgetting I had an important exam to do. Whichever scenario it is, it is always based around school. So even to this day, my subconscious dream state calls upon my school experience to show me how anxious I am.
The thing is, I was never anxious in school. Instead I was filled with a loathing for my teachers (mostly all of them were curriculum orientated and left no room for students who might be creative) and my class mates (all bar two or three who I felt a real sense of disconnect from). Although in later life, I am quite friendly with a lot of them. But there was something about school that seemed to drive a wedge between myself and others. Whether it was done by myself, I can’t be sure of. Perhaps there was some resentment towards everyone who seemed to take school for what it was and get through it.
The one class I actually enjoyed was Religion. Not that religion was ever thought in that class. More so it was a time for discussion and for me to act out my angst through humour and smart answers, mostly. Even then, it was but a tiny silver lining in a dark, dark cloud that was my school days. Even in my final year, when everyone is preparing for college; filling out application forms and undertaking aptitude tests and such. I refused with all my might (to the shock of my careers guidance teacher) to even so much as look at an application form ‘in case I changed my mind’ he said. My mind was made up. When school was over, there was no way I was putting myself forward for college, which I saw as just another form of forced learning of subjects I had no interest in. And because I had no interest in them, it appeared none of the teachers had no interest in me.
So today, when passing by the now pupils of my old school, I saw lots of smiles and laughter and groups huddled together; apparently they all were enjoying their day. Until I looked closer and saw a number of students pulled away from all the main groups. Solitary figures making their own way to lunch. No smiles, no laughter. It seems that some things never change. The kids who are together in groups probably don’t enjoy school, but they enjoy the company of others. The solitary figures, unable to grasp why they have to be forced to learn arbitrary and annoying subjects that hold no interest for them and their creative juices, can’t bring themselves to hang out with people who are happy to do as they are told and learn what they are supposed to learn.
To those kids, a few words. Hold your head up and remember that your angst and frustration will turn you into a stronger person than you might have been otherwise. Your hatred of school will stand to you. You will be a truly independent person and for all it may seem like the opposite, one day, the groups will want to be just like you!