During the intro session to my most recent round of counselling, I was asked (amongst other things) what my experience at school had been like. Terrible, I said.
In a previous blog post, I described a little of what happened around the implosion of my time at university. Elsewhere, I made reference to not being diagnosed with things (mainly, dyslexia and a sleep disorder) until much later that also definitely had a part to play in the terribleness of way back when.
Then, most recently, I listed ‘studying’ as something I wanted to in my autumn goals.
I have not, thus far, went into any of that in any great detail or brought all of those threads together to tell the full story of my failed studies and my plan for (hopefully) successful studies going forward. Today, that’s what I want to blog about. Or definitely that first part, because I don’t want this thing to be a million words long. I’ll tell you about my academic history here, and then I’ll come back and detail my future study plan in a separate post. Sound good? Good.
Okay, so… *takes deep breath* where to begin? Being a March baby, I was always one of the younger ones in my classes, starting school at age four. As far as I can remember (which isn’t very far at all), I had one year of playschool before Primary One.
In Northern Ireland, primary school is seven years (P1-7), high/secondary school is five years (1st to 5th form), and then sixth-form (two years: lower sixth and upper sixth) can optionally be studied at that same high school or at a college or “tech.”
I did three years at one primary school before my parents decided to move me to a different one for P4-7. This was a really great move and one I’m very thankful for. As I’ve said already, I don’t remember a lot of my early childhood, but I do know that I hated that first primary school. I vaguely recall getting in trouble a few times and struggling a lot with my reading and writing. In hindsight, struggling with reading and writing was probably a big reason why I got into trouble.
I still had my issues with reading and writing in my second primary school (I had them all the way up until university, in fact), but the environment of that second school was entirely different. I stopped being yelled at by teachers for being a kid and I started to thrive. I wasn’t very well-liked by the other school kids, but I was too oblivious to actually realise it at the time.
I was ignorant. It was blissful. I look back on those four years with affection.
Then high school happened. Continue reading