Thought Collective #2: Let’s Chat About School.

I have always loved learning. As a child, I would look forward to the start of a new school year, more than any other kid. I couldn’t wait to be back in the classroom. I was also very independent, and I had so many different interests. In fact, I would become so enthralled by a topic that I would spend hours on my own researching everything about it. I would read books, watch Youtube videos, scroll through hundreds of websites.

My friends, family, friends of family, and teachers all saw my thirst for knowledge, and I was praised for it. I still am, to be quite honest. And I like that feeling. But at some point in my school career, my own, internal desire for more knowledge turned into expectations from others and a fear of failure or not being good enough. I felt so weighed down by the assumptions people had of me, by the presumptions that were place on me. So much so that eventually I cracked. I let my perfect exterior break, piece by piece, until I no longer knew who I was. I stopped caring about education.

In high school, I reached an all time low in terms of education. Learning became something that I was excited about to something I dreaded. I was not interested in anything I was being taught. I rarely studied, and when I did, I would have breakdowns at least weekly because I felt like it wasn’t getting through to me. Part of this was the environment of my school. I got accepted into a prestigious high school, and I was initially excited to go.

Unfortunately, my experience there was not good. The teachers expected a lot from us, and we were constantly made to feel like we had to be the best, and anything lower was not okay. The students all competed with each other and every conversation was centered around grades, studying, and anything related to school. I was looked down upon when I told people I was going to study communication in college rather than something traditional like medicine, business, or law.

To sum up, it was toxic.

Fast forward to the present. I just started my junior year of college this week. I told myself I would start fresh in college. I stopped trying to please others, and I was looking forward to studying communication. My love for learning returned.

Some of my negative habits and mindsets from high school are still with me (studying for way longer than necessary, getting upset when I get anything lower than an A+, etc.).

But my state of mind is so different now.

I just want you to know that if you feel like you aren’t doing well in school, or you’re currently hating what you’re learning, that can change! Don’t let the school system make you hate or fear learning. Because you should always want to learn!! Knowledge is such an incredible and powerful tool that can make you unstoppable!

And there are so many forms of knowledge- not everything is about being book smart! There are also so many ways to get an education that don’t require going to school. Reading, youtube videos, talking to your relatives and asking them questions, etc.

The moral of the story: learning is FUN!

I know this post is very ramble-y and doesn’t flow too well, but I hope some of you can relate to parts of this story! I want to hear about your experiences in school, and any thoughts you have about it!

Let’s keep the conversation going in the comments!

6 thoughts on “Thought Collective #2: Let’s Chat About School.

  1. This is such an important topic, Jessica! đź’š I am about to start my first year at uni and I am both kind of excited and feel anxious about it. I also totally understand the feeling of pressure + what comes from the expectations of other people. I am a really curious person who likes learning, too but I think that the school system has yet a long way to go.

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  2. I felt what you said. Toxic schools are very real and they can afect students mental health. I feel like sometimes we neglet the emotional necessities that everybody needs because we already have other basic ones (like food, a roof over our heads and cothing), but it’s so important to take care of yourself and your needs. School can be a wonderful place or a horrible one, but like you said, there if light at the end of the tunnel.

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  3. Love reading these posts Jessica!! Sending all the love and I hope you enjoy your new semester xx Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry you had to experience that. I had a more socially toxic relationship with school sometimes so can definitely relate

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  4. I can relate so much to what you said.
    I was always considered the smart one, and I came to internalize those expectations and be super hard on myself, to the point of having really bad breakdowns when I got a less than perfect grade. My high school environment was also toxic and it took such a huge toll on me. I never felt like I was good enough, that I could never reach those high expectations placed on me or that I didn’t deserve the praise I got for being a good student.
    I’m also studying communications at uni and it’s such a breath of fresh air! I love it and though it, I’ve rediscovered my love for learning.

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