I Used To Hate School

calvin_and_hobbes_demolish_school_bomb_fighter_jetFrom about third to sixth grade I hated school with a passion, but not as most kids do. I’m pretty sure most kids detest school at some point, due to anything from a teacher to a subject to having to get up early.

I hated school because I was convinced it was a terrible place. I don’t think I thought this because of bullying, but because of education. I thought school wouldn’t teach you anything. (Note: I use “school” here to mean a brick-and-mortar school, not education. I didn’t have anything an education; I just didn’t think you could get one in school.)

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately because it was very important to me at the time. It took me several years to get over this feeling and figure out why I even thought this in the first place.

The first reason is that my parents decided to homeschool my brother and I because we were bored. We would finish our assignments before anyone else, then sit and stare out the window because we had nothing else to do. I was frustrated by how easy everything was – my main memory from second grade is of my teacher telling me to read a book again because I couldn’t possibly have read it in less than five minutes. I quietly did what she asked but inside I was thinking, “It’s a picture book. It has less than thirty pages and not much of a plot. Of course I can read it in five minutes, you dork.”

This led to me thinking I was better than all the kids who went to school, because I was smarter. Never mind that plenty of other smart kids continued to attend school. In my weird little mind school had no redeeming features at all. Now I think what’s more important is that you do what works for you. Some kids have to homeschool because they’re bored. Some kids have to attend school because both of their parents need to work to make ends meet, so they don’t have time to teach. It doesn’t matter how you get an education.

But oddly, that’s not the most important reason I hated school. There’s another. After a while I realized that I didn’t hate school so much; it was the schoolchildren who bothered me. I quickly came to the conclusion that it wasn’t all the kids, just some. They were the ones who’d thought I was a freak when I still attended school. I’ve always been an oddball, the nerd who would blurt out that I’d rather read than watch TV, the girl who refused to swathe herself in pink. When I started to homeschool, I guess that was the straw that broke the camel’s back for those girls. (It was pretty much just girls because I’ve only ever had one good guy friend and I haven’t talked to him for eight years. I miss you, Trevor!) They didn’t like me so I disliked them right back.

Over time, I realized that it was OK to be “normal”. (Is there even such a thing, anyway?) I was made fun of for being a nerd so I thought non-nerds were stupid until I realized they were just different. And really, everyone is a nerd. Some forms of nerdiness are just more socially acceptable than others. Sure, Tolkien fans know all these obscure facts, but so do football fans. So I began to not care if people made comments about me.

I also learned that jerkiness isn’t limited to school buildings – I just needed to hang out with different people. One of my earliest homeschooling friends told me that because I wasn’t Christian, the devil was going to do horrible things to me. Until now I haven’t told anyone how much that freaked me out, not because I believed her but because I thought she was a nice, nonjudgmental person. At the same time, I became friends with a publicly-schooled girl who is now one of my closest friends. At first I hadn’t liked her because I thought that she thought that I was weird. Well, I’d say she’s my weirdest friend now.

It all seems so laughable now, doesn’t it? But at the time it was how I honestly felt. I’m glad I changed my mind because now I have amazing friends who attend all types of schools!


About nevillegirl

Elizabeth. University of Iowa class of 2019. Triple majoring in English & Creative Writing, Journalism, and Gender, Women's, & Sexuality Studies. Twenty-one-year-old daydreamer, introvert, voracious reader, aspiring writer, and lesbian. Passionate about feminism, mental health, comic books, and cats.
This entry was posted in Homeschooling, Nevillegirl's Adventures!, Non-Neville Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to I Used To Hate School

  1. Artgirl says:

    I love my school! Granted, my school is vastly different from ordinary public schools, but it’s amazing nonetheless. The kids I see/talk to/have in class most are as nerdy or more so than me, which is nice. And they’re nonjudgemental, and nice, and insane in a good way. I love my teachers and classes, and I feel like I’m challenged a great deal. So I guess I just got lucky in having an amazing school to attend.

  2. frenchorange says:

    Thank you! I’m not a homeschooler myself, but you raise a good point. I love the Calvin and Hobbes comic in the beginning, though my favorite Calvin and Hobbes was ‘Scientific Progress Goes ‘Boink”. And now, I have nothing to say. I’ll try to bow out gracefully, but you can already tell that’s not working. So I won’t say goodbye at all. Hello.

  3. Charley R says:

    School is rather a hothouse for unpleasantries – I can speak from experience, having been to many. Being “weird” is definitely easy ground to be picked up on – I certainly was, and it got so bad in one place that I had to be moved to another school. That said, it gets easier when you get older, and when you find your friends. Odds are they’ll be the other “weird” people who find your knowledge of Narnia awesome rather than weird, but it’s not always the case. It’s a matter of finding something in common with someone, and bonding over it.

    Education, though . . . now there’s a few things I would love to say about that, but I’ll save them until I’m officially out of the system and they can’t get me any more 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      All these schools and you still haven’t gotten to Hogwarts yet? Shame, shame.

      I didn’t know that many weird (school)kids when I had just started homeschooling. I did Girl Scouts for a few years then, and none of the weird kids I’d known when I was in school did that so I didn’t see them anymore.

      • Charley R says:

        Well . . . they did send me an explanatory letter at least.

        Hmm. I know those sentiments – but they ARE there. Some just have a layer of normality you need to wriggle through on top 😉

  4. Amanda says:

    This was really interesting. I’ve never gone to a “brick-and-mortar” school before, but I can definitely relate to the thinking school (and to some extent, the people who go there) is horrendous part. Mostly because, well, I just didn’t know better when I was younger. Quite frankly, all I knew about school was what I read in books and what my parents told me–and I didn’t like either of it. Therefore, I, being the little kid I was, drew the same conclusions you did and held them for a bit. Now, I still don’t ever want to go to school. No, thank you. I’m not sure how well I’ll handle college, either. But I am better about giving people a chance to NOT be a part of the stereotype homeschool-haters. 😉

    • nevillegirl says:

      College is cool. 🙂 I think most people don’t care so much if they’re weird/nerdy because they’re too busy working on papers and stuff. I mean, you get the people who apparently don’t care about being there, but I think it’s better than school.

      Then again, my last day of regular school was around eight years ago…

  5. Erin says:

    Up until 4th grade, I went to a tiny Catholic school where there were only about 7 kids in each class. I remember liking it, even if I only had one friend and was sometimes picked on (yeah…I was a weird kid too). I didn’t even hate the education part – I was one of the smartest kids in my class who always got 100% on her spelling test, and I never had to worry about getting C’s and D’s (except in Phy Ed…). Ironically, now that I’m homeschooled, I hate school (“school” meaning education) even more, but I enjoy staying home more than going to a brick-and-mortar school. Maybe it’s just because I’m dealing with harder subjects now that I’m in highschool. I don’t know.

    Oh, and I definitely agree with you that jerkiness isn’t just limited to school buildings. I love homeschoolers, but…yeah. Some homeschoolers I know are extremely annoying.

  6. magicfishy says:

    Well, it’s nice to see that you’re NOT somehow biased against everyone who attends public school (any more). Anyways, yay! I’ve caught up!


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