15 things i've learned from 15 years of education...

yes this is a bean bag on my head

I have been in education for 15 years now, and its been one hell of a ride, but it has taught me a lot of lessons about who I am and what I want from life, as well as the literal lessons I took part in! I am still continuing on into further education for at least 3, if not 4 years when I attend university come September. Looking back on my education, I have loved and hated it at parts, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing. And I’ve learnt a lot…

lesson one- you can’t always be perfect

Perfectionism is a concept I have longed for, for the entirety of my education, and I’ve learned, I can’t have that. I am a perfectionist and will work my ass off to get what I want, but it can’t be perfect. Nothing is perfect.

lesson two- overworking only makes things worse

This was one I started to realise in my GCSEs and Sixth Form. I overworked to the point I made myself ill, or have a mental breakdown, or both. It was my worst time during GCSEs and A-Levels, and I massively regret working so hard some days. I have learned I need a good break to find a balance.

my first days in primary...

lesson three- the jumps between schools aren’t that big

Everyone makes out that the jumps between primary school and secondary school, as well as secondary to sixth form, are HUGE. In my eyes, they’re really not. You are eased into new places well, and if you understand what can be expected of you, you can handle it like a pro. Personally, I found the biggest jump was between years 12 and 13, especially with the increase in workload.

lesson four- you can’t please everyone

I am a BIG people pleaser, and it’s taken me a long time (probably at the end of secondary) to realise that you can’t please everyone. Just focus on being you, and of people don’t like you for it, hey, it’s their loss!

lesson five- things were so much easier in ‘golden time’

Golden time was honestly the pinnacle of primary and by far was the best time of the week, you just got to chill for an hour or 2 on a Friday afternoon, without any cares in the world. It’s fair to say I miss it.

ft my sister :)

lesson six- you can’t be expected to make a decision on your career at the age of 16

People put so much pressure on you to make your entire life plan as you leave secondary (aged 16), and to be honest, that’s unrealistic. I’m 18 and about to go to university to do a subject I love, but do I have a career path in mind? No. When I left secondary school, I just knew I was off to study 3 subjects I’m passionate about, and to be honest I have changed my career path multiple times. I have a rough idea now, but I’m just going to enjoy university and see where it leads. Also, I’m not saying you can’t make a decision at this age: if you know what you want to do, hats off to you!

lesson seven- science lessons are the funniest

Particularly this applies to secondary for me. I really didn’t like science as a subject, however, some of those lessons are home to my most prominent and funny memories! This is obviously a personal lesson, but I’m sure most people can relate to this with their own school and their own subjects!

lesson eight- work hard, play hard

Something I have learnt recently: reward yourself lots, because once you’ve worked hard, you deserve it. I think I’ll have this balance at university too, and it’s something I am very excited about!

year 6 sports day :)

lesson nine- maturity may not increase with age

A lesson learnt at sixth form. You’d think that as people get older, they’d mature: WRONG. Some of the most immature people I’ve met have actually been whilst I’ve been in sixth form. There was a lot of pettiness, especially in year 12, and I just hope now I’m 18, people are adults and mature well!

lesson ten- it’s the small things that you sweat the most

They say, ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ but it’s always the little things that worry me the most. I just have to learn to not overthink so much (which can be an issue for me), and to just care less, so that I don’t have to sweat a lot about it!

lesson eleven- learn from mistakes, whether they be yours or someone else’s

It may seem like you don’t want to pick up your flaws, but its where you learn the most. It helps you to avoid repeating the same thing again. As well as learning from your own mistakes, learn from others: ‘what did they do wrong that I could do right?’ Just ask yourself this.

year 9... eeek

lesson twelve- don’t change for anyone, and don’t let others influence you

This is a big one for me. I know I’m not like most teens. I’m not a big drinker and I’m not a fan of parties, and I’ve had a lot of people try to change me for this. But I will not be influenced or give into peer pressure, everything I do, I do off my own back, and as I mentioned before, if people don’t like you for it, that’s their loss. I have one lyric that sticks with me all the time, and it’s from the song ‘It’s Time’ by Imagine Dragons:

‘Now don't you understand

I'm never changing who I am’

lesson thirteen- talking to people really helps

A good mental health point here, talking to those you trust, whether it be in or out of school, really helps mentally. I wouldn’t have survived sixth form without my form tutor, whom I used to give fortnightly rants to! She helped so much when I suffered mentally in year 12, and I am so grateful for that. Just letting everything out is better than keeping it hidden.

year 11 prom (2018)

lesson fourteen- no teacher i have will top my gcse maths teacher and history teacher

These 2 teachers were the best two (obviously this is my personal opinion) but they helped so much and always had the faith in me, and therefore massively played a part in achieving some of the top grades from my school for those subjects. I miss them lots, and would do a lot to go back to their lessons again!

lesson fifteen- learn to love yourself for who you are, and be more carefree!

Finally, I believe education has a massive impact on the love you have for yourself, and I know a lot of people don’t like themselves and who they are, especially in secondary. Being carefree is the best feeling, but it comes with confidence. The confidence must be there, and I would look at your education as a journey: not just an academic one but a personal one. Make the most out of it, you can’t stay young forever!

and that brings us back to here... my last day of sixth form

These lessons are hopefully going to stick with me, and so I cannot wait to learn more, literally and metaphorically in the next few years! What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being in education? I hope you have had the best week!

mills x

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