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.


Tired of school

J wrote:

Listen. I'm not going to say my name. Call me J. Point is, school is the bane of my existence. Something you've heard before, I'm sure. High school is hell. I feel my life value is determined by a letter and a number. My parents are literally screaming at me to get my grades higher. My body feels numb. My brain is numb from pain. Both emotional and just physical headaches. I just want it to stop. School runs my entire life. I know my degrees will be worth nothing. I'm fucked eithet way. Any advice for someone that has previously attempted suicide over this? It's one hell of a feeling. Not a good one, however.

 

Hi there, J.

It's a really tough situation to be in. School is hell enough as it is, but having your parents against you as well makes it even worse.

It's really hard for me (or anyone really) to give you advice, because most of the real solutions depend on your parents.

There's nothing wrong with you for being sick of school, because school is an unnatural thing.

I've got a guide here on dealing with difficult/unsupportive parents.

I've got a collection of stuff about dealing with school-related depression here.

What would happen if you refused to go to school? If you think you'd be safe physically (as in, your parents won't kick you out or physically hurt you), it may be worth considering. But first research alternatives to school that you'd prefer. There are ideas for alternatives here, and here is a whole site about it, and there's also the Alliance for Self-Directed Education, which might be able to give you some more advice on that, if you're in the US anyway.

The main thing that kept me going was knowing that it was temporary, that someday I'd be out of school and my life would be better. But each year felt like an eternity. I spent most of my time at school completely ignoring reality, and making up stories in my head. Apparently this is called maladaptive daydreaming, lol. Anyway, it kept me sane at the time, so I have no regrets, and I will even recommend it to others. I don't do it that much these days because reality doesn't suck anymore.

Tiny Rebellions

Some interesting advice often given to people who are miserable at their jobs, but can't quit yet, is to start having tiny rebellions. Small little things that get them a little bit freer from their job than they were. This sort of thing is harder to do in school, obviously, since you're not usually allowed to do much, and there's all sorts of ridiculous consequences for simple things, but the general idea is to get yourself to feel slightly more in control. You can still control yourself, even if you can't get people to treat you better, and teachers/parents can't literally control your every move, even if they wish they could.

Some ideas for adapting this to school and/or home:

The basic idea is to change small things to give you a feeling of being 0.0001% more in control of your own life than you were before. Whatever you can easily do with relatively minor consequences that won't get you arrested, beaten, or drugged into a situation you can't handle.

Slightly Bigger Things

If you've got the willpower and motivation for it, you could even try doing more things that make you feel good, and less things that make you feel bad.

For example, rush your homework in a relatively sloppy fashion, and use the time you saved to do something you enjoy.

Or, if you're feeling brave (and your parents won't actually hurt you), you could try skipping the homework entirely.

I used to lock myself in my room while "doing my homework", but most of the time I was really actually playing PlayStation with the volume turned way down. Or drawing, or writing other random stuff. I don't remember all the other stuff I did instead of homework, but there were quite a few things. After I got tired of the other things I was doing, and I wanted to leave my room, I'd rush the homework as fast as possible just so I could say I did it (I'm a terrible liar, so I couldn't say I did it if I didn't actually do it).

Even today, if I have some work I'm not really in the mood for, I don't force myself to do it before I allow myself to have fun - I have fun first, and do the work stuff later. I often actually get in the mood for doing the work stuff while playing games or whatever. But in my case, the work is stuff I actually want to do anyway, so it's different from school stuff that I pretty much never wanted to do at all. I'm self-employed, so nobody can nag me to do work I don't want to do. My basic point is that the whole "work first, play later" thing is bullshit. Prioritize fun stuff! It's far better for your health.

I hope some of that helps...

-SoulRiser

 

Where to next? Pick one!

Posted in: Questions on September 5, 2018 @ 9:27 PM

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


If you like what we're doing here, you can become a Patron and sign up for our newsletter!