I don't miss school.
For me, school was 13 years of authority figures telling me that I was lazy, selfish, incompetent, a nuisance, a problem. 13 years of making me stand at my desk or at the front of class or in front of morning assembly, strung up as an example for the others.
I never questioned this. I was the problem child. That was who I was.
I was friendly but talked too much, intelligent but worked too little. Not conscientious enough in work that didn’t matter to me. Not focused enough in jumping through hoops that have 0 significance in my life today. A disappointment. A waste. A shame.
School made me call my parents and tell them that they had somehow failed as parents and should be embarrassed, because clearly they’re not doing a good enough job. School made my father mad and my mother cry. School got me slapped, caned, insulted, and none of that did anything for me.
School was hypocrisy- lip service to values and a real commitment to processing us. School was a system of incentives inside a tidy little box that barely reflects the actual nature of reality beyond it. School was isolated, divorced, cloistered. School was repressive, limiting, frustrating.
School was time not spent reading for pleasure, time not spent writing for pleasure, time not spent exercising, time not spent building useful skills. School was something to be suffered, to sit through, to skive from. School was absurd and ridiculous enough to make cigarettes seem like a good idea. School made me hate routines, timetables, plans, syllabuses so much that I continue to struggle to keep up with my own.
School was the single most traumatic, frustrating and debilitating experience of my life.
So no, I don’t miss it. I’d rather spend 13 years working manual labor. I’d actually have been paid for it, I’d actually have learned something, and I might have a healthier relationship with myself, and not wake up in the middle of the night feeling guilty and anxious about all the trouble I’ve caused others, and all the homework and revision I haven’t done.
(Originally posted as a Facebook status back in 2014.)