It’s sometimes big, sometimes small, some of us like it and some can’t stand it. Some of us know it will help us in the long run, but sometimes we don’t see the point of all that hard work. This year, here in Ireland, we’ll spend about 46% of our days there.
That's right, school. We all have our opinion on it—several, even—but the fact of the matter is, it’s a huge part of any teenager’s life. It’s where you spend a lot of time, make a lot of your friends, experience a lot of new things... oh, and learn. I suppose. That’s why I’ve chosen it for the next theme. It should be easy to find content and I hope you’ll all be able to relate to it. Over the next while I’ll be thinking about my experiences and observing what goes on in that hotbed of teenage nonsense.
Firstly, I’ll start with a few things I wish I’d known when I began secondary school. This could be useful if you’re going into first year, moving to a new school, or even just want to know what you could be doing to have a better experience.
FIVE THINGS TO REMEMBER...
The Customer’s Always Right. When you walk into a shop, you expect to have a good experience and be helped out when you need it. It should be the same with school. If you’re having a problem, maybe you’re getting picked on or you’re having trouble in one f your classes, you have the right to expect that it’ll be dealt with. See someone right away and tell them what the problem is, and what you’d like them to do about it. If you don’t know how it can be solved, then it’s up to the member of staff to help you.
Get Your Money's Worth. I can’t count the times I’ve been beaten out the door by a teacher when the bell rings at the end of the day, when a teacher has pointed to a page and said “learn that”, or otherwise demonstrated that they really don’t want to put in the effort. Remember that teachers are being paid to help you learn. If you’re finding something hard or need extra help, it’s their job to help you. Ask as many questions as you can think of and get the help you deserve.
People Will Like You. Don't fall into a group of friends just because you think they’re the only people who will talk to you. Be friendly with everyone so you’ll be able to find yourself a little niche that suits you. That way you should be safe from bullies and it’ll be easier to get away from any “toxic” friends.
Start Something New. It doesn’t matter if you’re only in First Year, in fact that’s the perfect time. My school happens to have lots of facilities and clubs for sports, but not much else. A huge regret I have is not starting up a drama club or doing something about a library. I’m in my second last year right now so it’s not the best time. So be brave, start something, and you never know what might happen! If there’s already a club, what are you waiting for? Get involved! If you hate it, fine, you can quit, but you never know until you try.
A Final Word of Wisdom... any highlighter except orange over blue fountain pen will cause the ink, and therefore your important notes, to disappear. You have been warned.