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School is only a small part of life

I get so sick and tired of schools, teachers, parents, adults in general spouting their nonsense on how important it is to get the best grades, to be the highest achiever, to work the hardest to do well on exams and assignments. 


In primary school, I was a gifted kid, so I got pretty good grades without even trying. (lucky me, right?) In high school, I didn't get as good grades without even trying. And at first, I started worrying but then I moved away from that mindset. I stopped caring. Not about school, but about getting those high grades, about overworking myself to try and achieve what everyone else wanted me to achieve. Instead, I focused on enjoying myself. On doing what I wanted to do, not what everyone else expected me to. 


"Get good grades so you can get into a good course!" is garbage. First of all, when you're in the early years of high school things are about finding what you like, what you don't and starting to chip away at that gigantic list of things you can do in the future. You don't need to know what you want to do, but you can start having an idea of what you like and what you don't. Choose the subjects you want to do, not the ones you need to do. When I had to choose, I went for all the subjects I wanted, because I didn't want to spend my last few years of school stuck in subjects I hated. That's not what learning is about. 


If you're going to take anything away from this, let it be this: "There is ALWAYS another way." If you want to get into a course that needs ridiculously perfect grades, don't burn out trying to get there. Because there are pathways, other options, that can get you where you want to be. It might take longer, but there's a lot of life to live, and it's not worth spending any of it buried under stress just because it's what everyone is expecting of you.


School is only a small part of life. Discover who you want to be, and have fun exploring the possibilities. 


Re: School is only a small part of life

Thank you so much for starting this thread @N1ghtW1ng! I thin it'll especially help those currently in Year 12 this year who are awaiting their OP/ATAR results soon (if this is you: good luck!)

I 110% agree with you in that you don't need good grades to get the best out of your life. It really sucks that teachers, parents and other adults really push that mindset - especially since it's not true at all! I know heaps of people who managed to get into the courses they wanted at good unis without even finishing year 12!

I have been a high academic achiever my whole life, but personally, I don't believe that being so meant that I "won" in life. I'm studying in uni to become a psychologist and what I've learnt is, having textbook smarts aren't going to make you a great psychologist. Really, it's the ability to relate, empathise and support people - and no textbook can ever teach you how to do that!
Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: School is only a small part of life

Hey @N1ghtW1ng, thanks for sharing your thoughts. I think this is such an amazing reflection and will be very helpful for the community. It is a pretty important conversation to consider when school can often feel like the be-all and end-all. It can also be so challenging to figure out what you want to do, especially at a young age. I totally agree that there is always a way to reach your goals even if it is a different path you need to take. Your goals can also change as well, as you start to gain more experience and knowledge. I also wanted to add that your interests and learning ability can also change over time. I know that I felt I performed a lot better during university than I did in high school as well.. some topics that were weaknesses previously, have now become strengths Smiley Happy 


I thought I might tag @Bananatime04 and @xXLexi_Lou122Xx as I thought they might find this really beneficial to read.


Re: School is only a small part of life

Thanks for the tag @Taylor-RO!
@N1ghtW1ng, that was very amazing to read!

I will say this now, I definitely agree with you. But because I’ve been achieving so little, I don’t really know how I feel about school anymore. I always try my best, but my best is never enough. Has anyone ever felt like that?

I want to be a psychologist when I’m older @Esperanza67! But now that I’m told how hard it is to get the requirements and stuff, I think I’ll stick to my dreams of broadway musicals and things... Smiley Happy

Some of my previous strengths are now my weaknesses... which isn’t good, but I can see where you’re coming from Taylor!

I really needed to read that! Thanks again!

// You are worth Something, not Nothing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise //

Re: School is only a small part of life

Remember @xXLexi_Lou122Xx, there's always another way Smiley Wink If you want to be a psychologist, go for it! 


What you mentioned about doing your best also reminded me of something.


Your best isn't the same as someone else's best. It doesn't mean doing everything you possibly can, or trying your very hardest, it means doing what you can, when you can. Sometimes, that's all of your homework plus study plus that assignment! And other times it's getting out of bed and making it to school. 


It's okay to feel like your best isn't enough, in fact it's completely normal. When you feel that way, remember that your best changes day to day and whatever you managed IS your best. 


Re: School is only a small part of life

Thank you @N1ghtW1ng !


I’ll definitely keep that in mind. Getting out of bed everyday is sometimes the best I can do, others is just trying to learn without breaking down in tears.


I’ll remember that! Heart

// You are worth Something, not Nothing. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise //