Lessons from School

In just a few weeks, I’ll be beginning my eleventh year in the public school system. To add to that, I had two years of preschool before heading into kindergarten. I’ve been in school almost as long as I’ve been alive. With all those years, you’d expect I’d learn a lesson or two about school–lessons one couldn’t find in the textbook. Here are some bits of knowledge I’ve picked up over the years (in no particular order)…

  1. Watch your back. School is a massive ocean, and you’ve got to watch out for the sharks. I’ve learned not to trust just anyone. Any student could be a backstabber. 
  2. Trust your instinct. If something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. Stay away from the people who give you that nervous or icky feeling. Avoid the hallway you’re terrified of unless you absolutely have to tread there.
  3. Make sure the bathroom stall is locked. Please. I’ve had far too many awful experiences where I thought the door was locked, but it wasn’t.
  4. Fend for yourself. You have to be self-sufficient. Nobody’s going to hand anything to you. Learn your way around, find your friend group, and stay on top of your work. If you can’t do that, you’re on your own. 
  5. Learn when to forget manners. A shyly whispered “excuse me” won’t get you through a jam-packed hallway. Push. Shove (lightly). It’s the only way you’ll ever get anywhere, especially in a crowded school.
  6. Image is everything. Don’t slack off in the first quarter. The beginning of the school year is the best to time to get a good reputation. Work your ass off. Show up on time to class. Be extra nice to everyone, plan crisp-looking outfits, take every opportunity to help out. Now is the time to join clubs. Impress, impress, impress. You’ll need it later on.
  7. Be assertive. If you think something’s unfair, say it. Justice is vitally important. Don’t be afraid to make a bit of a scene. Demand honesty and integrity–without making yourself look like a snobby asshole. 
  8. Know when to shut up. Don’t try to be the class clown. Trying will only make you annoying. Avoid responding to every question and let someone else speak for once.
  9. Respect your teachers. You don’t have to like them, but there is nothing more disgusting than the people who treat their teachers like shit. Don’t be the kid who won’t listen to anything. Your teachers are human beings, and honestly, they’re not even getting good pay for putting up with your crap all day. 
  10. Finally, stay true to yourself. Refuse to fit into a box or a social category. Be who you are, whoever that is–and you’ll be alright. 






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