My school years are without a doubt some of the best years of my life so far. I know I’m only 22 but I really appreciate those seven years of friendships and memories. I made friends for life, learnt valuable lessons besides chemistry and RE, and took some sick pictures on Photo Booth. However, amongst all the positives of my time at school, there are definitely a handful of things I wish I had known back then besides Pythagoras’ theorem and the Spanish word for pencil* and here they are.
Exams aren’t the end of the world
Trust me, I know how important GCSEs and A-levels are and how your life practically revolves around them for five years BUT they are not the be all and end all of your education. Does your university (if you go) depend on your results? Yes. Does the rest of your life and your job depend on your results? Absolutely not. Don’t let your grades define who you are during your school life because believe it or not, one day they won’t even matter! Not everyone is academic and people’s talents shine elsewhere so don’t let a C in maths drag you down when you play hockey for the first team and play grade eight piano! Remember, there is so much more to you than a few letters on a piece of paper but that’s not to say don’t work your arse off to achieve the best you can!
Life is pretty easy
No rent. No phone bills. No car or petrol. I never really had much responsibility when I was at school apart from working hard and having a few jobs on the go and boy I miss it! Life was pretty easy back then and I wish I had just enjoyed it more rather than constantly think about the future and moving out. My friends and I often laugh about the times when we’d get stressed out about a piece of homework when you fast forward to now and we’re paying rent, in jobs or at uni, and have actual responsibilities! So if you’re still at school, just relax, turn down the tempo and don’t stress out over the small things!
You don’t have to go to every party
So you can’t go to so and so’s party on Saturday? Calm down, it’s not going to be the last party ever! I know when your 15/16 it might feel that way but everyone’s going to be talking what’s his name’s party the next week so who cares anyway! I wish I hadn’t have felt the need to go to every single gathering, pub trip, party, dinner or other social event because I would’ve saved myself a whole lotta grief from my rents and some money at the same time!
University isn’t compulsory
I may seem biased as I never went to uni and was never really interested in it but I feel like schools are too pushy when it comes to sending their students there. At my school, I always felt like if you weren’t interested in uni then they weren’t interested in you. And if you were interested but weren’t quite Oxbridge (Oxford and Cambridge) material then you were at the bottom of the pile. Don’t let your school or teachers make you feel stupid or like shit for not wanting to go to uni when there are so many other options! I never went, albeit I completed a short course at business school in Oxford, and I’d like to think I’m doing a lot better than most of my friends who went to uni and haven’t been able to get a job despite having a degree. Sometimes experience is worth way more than a degree!
Your best friends in school aren’t necessarily friends for life
In school I never really had a set in stone friendship group and was often called a floater – charming I know. I had a lot of friends from pretty much every friendship circle but when asked who my BEST friends were, I only had a select few. Now looking back, I can see that my best friends from back then aren’t necessarily my best friends now or even close friends at all. It’s sad really but it’s taught me that people change and grow apart and that doesn’t have to be someone’s fault, it can happen naturally. Even though at the time I was inseparable from my closest friends, I would tell younger Katy not to fully invest her time, trust and emotions in everyone who seems like a BFFL at the time.
Is there anything you wish you knew back in school?
* If you’re interested, the Spanish translation for pen is lápiz.