Monday, 1 June 2015

Life Begins to End at 20

School prepares you for adulthood in the same way driving lessons prepare you for being hit by a bus. I say this because I'm turning 20 next week and that means that I've been adulting on a semi-professional level for two years, and I can honestly say that only about 10% of the things I learnt at school have had any practical use in the real world.

I can't remember how to do Pythagoras's theorem, I've never used long multiplication, I've never had to divide or multiply a fraction by another fraction because why would anyone ever need to do that, and George shoots Lennie. I still don't know anything about tax, I have no idea how to go about buying a car or renting a flat, and I still can't fucking speak French.

It's been four years since I left school and in that time I still don't know what all the fuss was about. Five years of glorifying people who got 10 GCSEs at no less than A* making younger kids aspire to reach this unrealistic frankly ludicrous goal, and two years of pressuring kids into getting the required grades to get into college. This was usually 3 Cs including English and maths, and 2 Bs in whatever, and it turns out you only need two; English and maths at a C or above. In order to get a real life job which pays real life money with plenty of opportunities to climb the real life career ladder, you only need two GCSEs. That's it. Two. And nobody at any point tells you that experience is the most valuable thing to have when looking for work which you will definitely have to do, so in the end, all that stress and all the revision and all the cramming was for nothing.

But it doesn't end there, oh no. If you do end up at sixth form college, you'll subject to two more years of "you must get into uni or will actually die for real."
College was better than school, but only in the sense that it wasn't school. It was just like school, though, only sometimes you had to stay until 4pm and you could call your teachers (now ostensibly called "tutors") by their first names, and you didn't have to wear a uniform. But you still had homework, bullies, senior members of staff who hadn't got a clue, and you quite often still had to ask to go to the toilet only to be denied because you were expected to be able to schedule your bowel movements. As for the whole grades thing, you're told for two years that you must get at least 120 UCAS points to get a place onto most bachelor's degree courses. Turns out that's bollocks as well, because I got A levels so poor they're barely worth mentioning on my CV, and I was told "Well at least you've got A levels." which is like telling someone with paraplegia "Well at least you've got legs." But even with my what are technically passing grades, I still managed to technically get into university. It wasn't quite what I wanted at the time, but I was at uni.

But of course I dropped out of uni and life subsequently shat in my soup and chucked me in at the deep end and now I'm 20 and I have no idea what I'm doing send help.

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