So apart from how to do trigonometry or how George and Lennie’s friendship is symbolised in ‘Of Mice and Men’, here is my list of 10 things I wish i’d known at school, consider it advice if you are in school since I think these things are really important and if I’d known them I think things would have turned out a lot differently for me and I would’ve enjoyed school more.
1. Don’t take things too personally or seriously.
I can just tell there will be people reading this post who knew me at school and will totally agree that at times I took some things too personally (sorry guys). I’ve always been a sensitive person but I think when you are at school you need to take everything people say to you with a pinch of salt. It’s that time where people are growing up and finding out aspects of life that were unknown before but exciting, people will say things they don’t mean, people will make jokes that aren’t necessarily funny, people may pick on you just as part of a bit of their ‘banter’. But at the end of the day none of it means anything, those people are still your friends, they are just fooling around and having a laugh, don’t take it to heart. I remember in year seven, during my first week or so starting school, some guy decided it would be really funny to call me ‘froggy’ or something like that and I got way too upset about it, I wasn’t in tears but it got me worked up for no good reason, it was just him being playful not nasty. If you waste time taking life too seriously and what people say too personally you won’t enjoy it, don’t let light-hearted jokes get you down because it’s almost certain the people who say them don’t mean it at all.
2. Feeling slightly different from other people isn’t bad
I think at some point during school everyone goes through a time where they feel slightly different to everyone else. We’ve all felt pressure to do or agree with what other people do or say, but that doesn’t mean we should give in to it. I always found myself thinking about what other people did and thinking about how I wasn’t into that kind of thing and maybe that was bad but it wasn’t. You are your own person, if we all did the same things and had the same opinions then the world would be very weird! Feeling different is good, unless you feel like a total alien then you may want to talk to someone about that. There is a quote from by my main gal Taylor Swift (who else would I quote?) where she says ‘If you have something that makes you different from everybody else, don’t ever change.’ and I totally agree with that.
3. The person who cares most about your spots is you
You may have read one of my earlier posts ‘Tips for Dealing with Acne and Spots‘ where I spoke about this, but I honestly think it’s important enough to reiterate it. The person who will always care most about your appearance is you, at school when people start going through hormonal changes and all sorts of body changes everyone becomes that little bit more insecure I feel. But if you think about it, more or less everyone is going through the same thing so they have their own spots to worry about, not yours! Throughout the years of secondary school I became so self conscious about my skin when there was nothing I could do about it. I would beat myself up about my skin and sometimes not want to go to school because I was so embarrassed about it which is ridiculous! There will probably also be people reading this post thinking ‘her skin wasn’t even that bad omg’, which just proves how you are always going to be your biggest critic and that things are never as bad to other people as what they appear to be to you.
4. Popularity isn’t everything
Before writing this post I asked many people what they wish they’d known while being at school, and most of them immediately said that ‘the social hierarchy means nothing when you get older’ which I would also agree with. Being the most popular person in school isn’t going to get you a degree at university, it isn’t going to get you a job in the future either, once you leave school the social hierarchy does to so don’t waste sleep over it. I’m not saying being popular is a bad thing what so ever, i’m just saying that if you feel jealous of the people that are deemed to be ‘popular’ don’t be. I have always been a supporter of quality rather than quantity, surround yourself with close friends that you can trust and be yourself around rather than focusing on trying to be everyones friend and being at the top of the hierarchy.
5. Be Yourself
I can not stress this point enough. I only until recently have fully learnt to embrace who I am as a person and dress how I want to, do what I want to and not give a damn as to what anyone else says (within reason). So many times at school I would try to be someone I wasn’t just so I could feel like I fitted in. I felt so much pressure to be a certain way and like everyone else. Don’t lie to yourself about who you are otherwise you will end up convinced you’re someone that you’re not. Submitting yourself to the pressures of others to be a certain way or do certain things will only make you feel worse. Everything you do should be because it’s what you agree with and think is right without caring about what anyone else thinks, be a leader not a follower.
I’m not going to go into too much detail about this one but oh my days is it one I wish I could talk to my little year 9 self about. At school I, like many others, got into relationships that as a result caused me to drift away from my friends. When you are young and naive relationships are the most exciting things ever as it’s all new and you’ve never experienced anything like it before, but don’t forget who your real friends are as chances are the relationship won’t last forever when it ends you need to have people to surround yourself with. I made the mistake of drifting apart from probably some of the best friends I have ever had, it wasn’t their fault or the boyfriends fault it was 100% mine and I can’t say I don’t regret that. We all know the saying’s like ‘Sisters before Misters (Mr’s)’ but listen to them, seriously! Just as a final comment, don’t let boys rule your life, you are so much better than that.
7. Try your best but enjoy yourself
Another of the most popular things people said when I asked them what they wish they’d known at school is that you should enjoy yourself as much as you can before you go to college because life gets so much harder then. Yes GCSE’s are no walk in the park and you do need to work hard for them in order to get the best grades you can since they really do matter, but you should still make sure you enjoy yourself at the same time and achieve a good balance between social life and work. Looking back at school now that I have started my A2’s I realise how much simpler life was then, enjoy it, utilise it the best you can, don’t waste your time because it will go by and be over before you know it.
8. Don’t trust people who gossip
Knowing who you can and can’t trust at school or at any point in life really can be difficult, and i’ve definitely made the mistake of putting my trust into the wrong people before as i’m sure a lot of other people have. My main piece of advice that I would tell my school-girl self would be to keep a watch out for the people that talk about the people they hang out with, because it’s likely that same person could be doing the exact same about you when you leave the room. But just because someone likes to gossip doesn’t make them a bad person that you shouldn’t be friends with, we all gossip from time to time anyway, just maybe think twice about trusting them with something personal that you wouldn’t want to be shared. Another thing I thought i’d add to this as well that I would tell myself is that don’t believe the rumours people spread because chances are it couldn’t be further from the truth.
9. Dont let people take advantage of you
I am definitely a culprit of this and I probably still can be at times. Being kind to people and treating others how you like to be treated is one thing, letting people treat you like a doormat and being ok with it is another. If you let people take advantage of you then people will begin to loose respect for you and start believing that you are simply a push over that will do whatever they ask. As soon as someone begins to show that kind of treatment towards you, you need to stop and stand up for yourself. I felt like in order to be someones friend I should do whatever I could to make them happy even if it got me into trouble or made me upset. But when someone starts to use you and take advantage of your kindness and generosity then it begins to turn into a friendship that’s for all the wrong reasons. You don’t want people to be your friend just because they know you will treat them like gold and do whatever they ask, you want a real friendship where you treat each other equally and do things for each other.
At some point in your life, whether it is at school or not, you will come across someone who is nasty to you. At school it is so important to just ignore it. If you react there is an incredibly large room for error for you to make it worse, one of the reasons people can be mean to you is simply because they are bored and looking for a reaction, if you do what they want they will get a thrill about it and continue to try and hurt you for their amusement. If you ignore them and show no reaction they will not get a thrill of it and instead get frustrated and eventually get bored enough to leave you alone. Don’t waste sleep either over people who are unkind to you, the chances are they are either jealous of you, insecure in themselves, bored and looking for fun or just immature and will grow out of it. I know there can be some really nasty people out there who are relentless in trying to hurt and make other people’s lives a misery but you have to rise above it no matter how hard it is, hold your head up high and put a smile on your face because there is nothing someone who wants to make you upset will hate more than that, knowing that they can’t bring you down. As a side note I just want to say if someone is continuously picking on you and is starting to make your life miserable then it is so important that you tell someone before things get worse.
Thank you for reading, i’ve tried to embed a few little experiences I had at school and there is a lot more I could say for each of these but of course I don’t want to get too personal. Please remember if you are in school and feel like you are having a rubbish time then talk to someone about it and try and keep in a positive mindset that it will be over before you know it and none of the bad things will matter one day x