School Survival

Has school destroyed your creativity and self-confidence? I'm working on a book called Recovering From School, to help you heal the damage caused. Join the Patreon or Newsletter to be notified about updates. Paid Patreon members will get early draft previews, as well as a free digital copy when it's done.


FAQ stands for Frequently Asked Questions. FAM stands for Frequently Assumed Misconceptions. There aren't nearly as many questions in this list as there are assumed misconceptions.

But you NEED an education! How can you say education isn't important?!?!

Hold it right there. You said "education". This site is against compulsory school, not education. Education is definitely a good thing, but do you honestly believe school is the only place on earth where a person can become "educated"? Or that school actually provides a decent education in the first place? How much of the stuff you learned in school do you remember right now? How long after you wrote your last exam did you forget most of the material?

School isn't supposed to be fun, it's meant to educate you. Fun is what you do in your own spare time.

See above. Also, learning is best done when it's fun. If it's boring and you're just enduring it and wishing it would end already, you're not going to remember much of what you "learned". Why shouldn't learning be fun? Is that such a terrible concept? OMG, people having FUN learning? Sacrilege!

As much as you hate school, it's for your own good. Without a diploma you'll never get anywhere.

So you're saying that enduring 12 years of pointless hell just for a diploma is worth it? That's pretty sad. I guess you don't know there are better ways to get a diploma or the equivalent of one.

If you don't go to school you'll be on the streets begging for money from those who did.

See above. Also see list of people who dropped out but became "successful" anyway.

You cannot possibly hate school. School is the only source for you to have a good life and be rich.

There are so many things wrong with this statement I don't know where to begin. First of all, even if it were true that "School is the only source for you to have a good life and be rich", that doesn't make it impossible to hate it. People are perfectly capable of hating pretty much anything. Secondly, define a "good life"? You can have a good life without being rich, right? It depends on what you want to do with your life. Finally, school does not automatically guarantee that anyone will be rich. See this list of people who dropped out but became "successful" (by society's standards, anyway).

You might hate school but you can't deny that you have at least learned something useful there!

Just because something isn't completely useless does not mean that nobody should be allowed to complain when it falls short in some area. It's like getting free ice cream in hell - it just doesn't quite make up for all the other stuff.

Jobs that don't require much schooling are not respected in today's society.

So what? If your own self respect depends on what other people think of you, you're never going to be genuinely happy. People should do whatever they really want to with their lives regardless of what other people think of them.

School is fun! You're just being overly negative for no good reason!

I'm glad you enjoyed school. Good for you. Unfortunately, not everyone is so lucky. Some people get bullied every day while there. Some people have no friends because they're more mature than everyone else in the nearby vicinity and don't want to associate with those morons. Some people recognize that they aren't really learning anything useful in class and would rather be somewhere else where they CAN learn something useful and/or interesting. These people are frustrated because they are forced to be in school regardless of whether or not it's useful to them.

All school-haters are lazy good for nothing drug junkies who want to do nothing all day!

Yeah, right. Tell that to Albert Einstein, who incidentally hated school as well. I guess he was a lazy good for nothing who never amounted to anything, right?

He was an exception!

Oh, so you acknowledge that there are exceptions to your "all school haters are lazy good for nothings" theory? Well, that's a step in the right direction! Now all you need to do is try to get to know more of them and you'll find there are probably a lot more "exceptions" than those who fit the stereotype.

Haha! You think school is bad? Once you have a job in the real world you'll want to go back!

Unless you get a job that you actually like. See, the thing with the "real world" is that you're not really forced to do anything. You can quit a job you don't like. There are no laws forcing you to stay there against your will. Of course there are consequences for every action, but at least they aren't arbitrary and "fake" consequences that someone made up just to "discipline" you. You are completely responsible for your own life. And either way, you actually get paid for your time.

Another variant of this: "School years are the best years of your life!"

The dangerous thing about this statement is that if you say it to someone who is extremely unhappy, you are essentially saying that "This is bad, but it only gets worse" - this is a terrible thing to say to someone, and may drive people to suicide in extreme cases. They may think "well, if it only gets WORSE than this, why bother?".

School is the only place for mass socializing. If you don't go, where will you make friends?

School is the only place (besides prison) where you are forced to be around people you don't necessarily like. If you didn't have to go, you'd find friends elsewhere, in the real world. You know, like other people do. You can't tell me you never make any friends outside of school, surely? Or that the friends you make in school are the only friends you'll ever have for the rest of your life?

A quote from some homeschoolers: A family member asked my wife, "Aren't you concerned about his (our son's) socialization with other kids?" My wife gave this response: "Go to your local middle school, junior high, or high school, walk down the hallways, and tell me which behavior you see that you think our son should emulate." Manfred B. Zysk

School is a part of life! It's just something you have to do.

Only because people decided it should be so. What if they were wrong? And also, traveling from one place to another is a part of life, but that didn't stop people from inventing ways to make it more efficient (cars, planes, etc). Why stay in the stone age when there are so many better alternatives available?

You should be glad that you have schooling, what about the millions that don't?

Just because we have "more than others" does not mean we should just be satisfied with what we have and never aim to improve upon it. That's just pure laziness! Also, see above. Any advances made in countries that do have an education system can be passed along to the more disadvantaged countries. Blindly accepting things the way they are never made anything improve.

In life, you have to deal with a lot of things you don't like, so why should you just be able to quit school and avoid dealing with people's crap?

Because the crap in school is arbitrary and unnecessary. The crap in the real world is at least... well, real. Leaving the source of crap is a perfectly legitimate way to "deal" with it, especially if the people causing the crap are not going to change. If you were in a cage with an angry tiger, would you try to get out of the cage or would you just stay there and "deal with it" and hope the tiger decides to be nice to you? Now, dealing with obnoxious people might not be as severe as that, but remember that you always have a choice as to what to do. Life is short, why spend it being miserable when you don't have to?

Running away from your problems won't solve them!

If nobody was forced to go to school in the first place, there wouldn't even BE these problems. Leaving IS the solution. Good luck trying to get the teachers to be nicer, or getting the school to teach stuff that actually matters, or getting the bullies to stop being abusive. All of these things are the way they are because school is compulsory.

If school wasn't compulsory, nobody would go!

Doesn't that tell you something? That probably isn't even true, though. Most people would still go, because of the massive pressure in society to do so. People are scared to go against the norm, so most of them would still go.

What would you replace school with?

In a free market, if nobody likes a product, nobody buys it and it ceases to exist. With school, people are still forced to buy that product regardless of how bad it may be. If school became non-compulsory, more alternatives would spring up, and people would have a lot more choices as to where to go. Schools would have an incentive to actually educate people - because if they don't, they lose customers (aka students and their parents). Basically, school would be replaced with whatever people want it to be replaced with, and there would be something to suit everyone.

How dare you question the educational system that I and other worthy people have given our lives to?

I think my response can be best summed up with this quote: "It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it." - Upton Sinclair (1878-1968)

A quote: "If a bunch of actual adults suddenly found themselves trapped in high school, the first thing they'd do is form a union and renegotiate all the rules with the administration." - Paul Graham

Some amusing real-life examples

(These were actually quoted from people who actually seriously said this - I didn't make these up, I swear)

If you got homeschool, you wouldnt have a GF and maybe never felt a ass before or had sex..

This one makes me giggle. It makes me giggle so much I don't think I should respond. It's just... too silly.

tbh, you should love school. school teaches you how to read and write and how to form a educated and informal convosation.

Yes... whatever that means!


EPIC FAIL. (I'm not sure this person was really serious though. Would be hilarious if they were).

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