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  1. #1
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    Your High School Experience

    So, as my high school career is coming to an end, I have begun to wonder what kind of an experience some of the artists on here had in high school. I hear a lot about what went on in art college, and a bit after that, but I rarely hear about high school (other than artists that are still in high school and Elwell hehehe...) I've obviously talked more about my high school experience on this forum than need be, so I'll refrain.

    I'm just curious, how did all of these brilliant and successful artists fair in high school?

    Indulge...


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  3. #2
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    Teenagers are assholes and I understand school shootings.
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  5. #3
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    Didn't go to high school.

    Not going to high school was the best experience of my life.

  6. #4
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    A few lows but not any real highs. Got bullied a little bit, nothing that lasted my entire career though. I took a lot of things very seriously that I shouldn't have. I kind of regret that. Towards the end I realized that high-school is a measly two calendar years (four 180 day school years) of my life. It's nothing compared to everything else. Plus once it's over, pretty much everything that mattered stops having any meaning. Nobody really cares who your friends were or what your street cred was. It's mainly about academic performance.

    Socially I had eclectic friends, I tended to fit in with anyone who wasn't a bunch of assholes. Kids can be mean to each other though. Pretty much your 14-18 years are nothing but hormones and social ineptitude. No one in high-school really knows how to interact socially in a positive or practical way. But that's okay because part of that time there is to learn how to interact.

    I took every art or art-related class I could. I pretty much decided to be an artist in middle-school. I took the four regular fine art classes and two honors fine art/studio classes. I took two semesters of architecture. Made friends with the art staff. Met some of my best friends that I have today in those classes.

    College is where it's at though. If you plan to go that is. I suggest at least hanging out with people that do. It's the last great chance to learn how to not be a social dork while having the excuse of youth. Experiment, party, learn, grow, love, and do some art. Learn how to make friends and contacts, learn how to relate to the opposite (or same) sex romantically. It's a lot more freedom and a lot more responsibility but it's definitely 10x more fun to me. Feels a lot more important too. Nobody cares about your high-school GPA, it's all about the college degree. Except in the art industry, but still.
    "Astronomy offers an aesthetic indulgence not duplicated in any other field. This is not an academic or hypothetical attraction and should require no apologies, for the beauty to be found in the skies has been universally appreciated for unrecorded centuries."

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    can't wait for the last month of it to be over,
    so I can kick some real world ass!

    current year felt like an over protective parent doesnt let me take off the training wheels.
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    Dropped out. Enrolled in the school of life. Lots of song and wine, tears and laughter.

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    High school... I'm trying to forget that place. Did you have to remind me?

    Apart from that. I got a few good friends I guess. Got more and more depressed. Then I'm not sure what happened. But it was over in the end. And then life began (I think). And now I'm trying to figure out how to deal with that...
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    I'd say the same as buckweasle, but I never really experienced any noteworthy bullying since I was the weird kid with a mohawk black clothes and spikes everyone on my hyper-conservative highschool thought i was sacrificing babies on the weekend. I did get along with most people though on an individual level, even if not in groups.
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    Still in it.

    My first two years were crap, and a bit stereotypical. But I moved to a different high school for junior and senior year, which was and is very... unorthodox. (A class of 60, no class on Friday, and we celebrate birthdays! 8D to name a few.) They are probably the best two years of my high school life, albeit filled with so much hardship and torment.

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    Let's just say that if I ever have kids, I'll be taking a good, long, and hard look and private schools before I every subject them to a public schooling system. Especially for high school.
    "Without angst, there is no art." - Fred Gallagher
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    It was crappy, useless and overall nothing but an extended test of endurance. I put up with four years of pep rallies, terrible teachers, poorly-funded art classes, way-too-highly-funded football teams, and stupid vapid selfish full-of-themselves redneck classmates. I must say that graduation was the best night of my life if only because it was the last time I would EVER have to talk civilly with those assholes.

    I'm still secretly hoping I'll be rich and famous by the time the class reunion comes around. I'll roll up in a limo and throw fake money at them and instead of a president there will be a picture of me giving them the finger on it. My revenge will be humbling and glorious.

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    Really? I had a great highschool experience. Classmates and teachers, alike.
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    I graduated from high school a year ago and the only thing that stood out for me was that I wanted more time to draw things. :>

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    High school was a great time for me. I didn't go some art-orientated school, I went an Natural Scientce program at my high school. Good thing was that all assholes from the previous school I went weren't good enough or intrested to go the Natural Science, so that left classes filled with nice people. I had really great friends back then, and yes I do miss that time from High School.
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  18. #15
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    High School? That was bed time. Getting on the morning bus was like preparing for sleep. I stole a desk and recorded a lecture just so I could sleep after high school ended.

    I swear the deepest sleep I've ever experienced was in those one piece desks with a monotone teacher droning off. Apparently I had a wicked sleep talking session once about hang gliding in the middle of chemistry, the teacher let me go on for a while.
    Last edited by Ryan K; May 8th, 2010 at 07:45 PM.

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    High school had its ups and downs, but I made some friends for life there, and I was still young and naive and full of dreams! So I can't say it was too bad.

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    Ahh... High school. It's different in the UK, as we get to finish high school at 16 (thank god for that)... I can say that college is so much better.

    The first two years of high school were fairly normal and uneventful, really. I met the best friends I could possibly ask for, almost all of whom have stuck by me to this day.

    During the third year of high school, however, people became extremely judgemental, and pretty soon me and my group of friends were labelled as "emos", because a few of us had black hair, and we listened to metal. For those last three years, we were verbally abused, pushed in corridors etc etc, all of the childish stuff people do in high school when they think they are above you. Eventually, things started to get more serious though. We were constantly being threatened, the teachers didnt do anything to help. I remember one notable PE lesson (which I laugh at now) where my class got banned from playing Cricket as the rest of the girls in the class were threatening to hit us with cricket bats. We also got pushed down flights of stairs on several occasions, luckily none of us were hurt badly.

    Things got even worse, and on one night after I stayed late at school finishing some art work, I got attacked by a group of people when walking home. The girls in the group were from my school, the rest of them were their boyfriends or friends, who must have been at least 20 then. I went to the Head as soon as I could... nothing was done. They didn't believe me as there was no "evidence"... more like I hadnt been beaten up enough.

    But I forget about that, and I always love the good things about high school. My class was awesome, and it was pretty much the same people for the whole five years, so we all got to know each other well. We had an amazing English teacher, and my art teachers were brilliant. They always encouraged me to push myself, and gave me new ideas and told me how to improve. I had so much fun with my friends, what more could I ask for?
    It wasn't the best experience, but it wasn't the worst either. I'll miss the school, I just won't miss the people in the school

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    High school was the shiznit for me cause I was homeschooled. Got to sleep til whenever, stay up til whenever, play games til whenever, as long as got my work done. Kinda put a damper on my social life, but for the most part it was damn awesome.

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    Some things I remember from my 5 year journey though high-school: hippie students setting the library on fire twice, lousy or unfinished final exams, absent teachers, useless classes ("Typing"... yes, keyboard typing ¬¬) and lack of art classes, pretty basic/low level of contents (studied Social and Natural Sciences) , but lots of laughs

    Luckily, I had my best friends all the way from day 1 till graduation to support me through those 6-hour torture sessions everyday. And good thing I liked doing caricatures and portraits of my friends and teachers just to kill time, I think I actually learned to draw on my high-school desk XD
    Plus I used to sit at the back of the classroom most of the time, so I could arrange a couple of chairs and desks to create some sort of bed (once I actually brought my own pillow, lol)

    Looking back now, comparing these last 3 years in college working my ass off, running to make it on time for classes and not sleeping for 3 days in a row, I want to go back to high-school
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  23. #20
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    I have many fond memories of high school. For a couple of years I was one of those imbeciles who knew most of the stuff but didn't do his homework and walked away with way more C's than I should have. Outside of that though (and the talks I sometimes got because of it), good times.

    I have a real close-knit group of friends who I've mostly known since grade 5. Most of them ended up going to high school with me, so I just hung around with them and didn't really have a problem fitting in anywhere. I only took art in grade 9, then 14-year-old me decided I'd rather teach myself and I didn't take another art class after that. My school didn't really have a good art program though, so I still managed to be one of the better artists in the school and became art director for the school magazine after one of my most entrepreneurial friends seized control of that. I'm also a big science geek, so I got involved with the Science Olympics and got to handle giant insects, build all kinds of cool stuff, and win some university scholarship cash (and accidentally produce a bunch of chlorine gas indoors, but that's a different story).

    All in all, it was a blast. Lots of adventures. Unfortunately, my social life mostly dissolved after it ended. Most of my friends are in different universities across the country and now I only really do anything remotely exciting when I see them during the summer break. Oh well. Gives me more time to improve my art.

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    Sometimes I envision those times, but with me holding a machete and laughing gas. Everyone trying to run away on bloody stumps and with chipmunk voices.
    It makes me laugh.

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    It's pretty creepy now how all the kids on this forum have mass murder fantasties.
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    That is creepy.

    I mean, I hated high school but I couldn't even joke like that. Maybe my sense of humor just isn't there.

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    Grade 9 and 10 were fairly awful at school, 11 and 12 were pretty good (great if you compare them to the first few years)

    The whole time I flew pretty low under the radar. Always had a mix of friends (from "skids" to some popular kids) never really was bullied. One guy liked to make jokes about my mom/sister and bug me like that, but after he wrote some slurs on my binder I put him in a choke hold in the library (and 2 times after that) and I never really had much of a problem with him after that.

    Funny enough I made more friends in highschool than I did in college. Actually, I made no lasting friends in college.... :/

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    I feel like I had an uncomfortable rebirth after high school. Should've enjoyed those years more and not wasted so much time loathing it. Oh well. Life goes on.

  31. #26
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    Highschool is definitely not a place I would like to go again. Our art class's were quite bland and short, stressed out about physics and maths. Saying that I did have some good experiences here and there but its over now, and currently I'm having awesome fun in Uni, getting marked on drawing barbarians and various monsters.

    Feels good man.





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    i had a hard time doing homework and coming on time or paying attention in class. The only moments I ever made effort was when we had projects to do, and if I could draw something cool as part of my project. But I didn't take any art classes ever until drawing 1 class, senior year. (except I did take a woodshop class in freshmen year)

    spoke almost no english at the time, so if I was ever verbally bullied, i really wouldn't know, lol. I'd say my closest friend, even though I barely knew him, was this kid who dressed in all black, and used to be in in-school suspension with me. he always drew anime, so I have him to thank now that I'm anime-obssessed, and why I continued drawing then (but hadn't taken it seriously until college).

    I think I would definitely relive it, I had many eye-opening moments then

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    This isn't something I like to think much about or talk about, but I suppose it's interesting here to note the differences in experience from people in different countries. In places where they divide students based on academics, the best kids typically have a great time, with less stress from bullying. Whereas kids who go to large public schools either sleep through it or get pushed down stairs, etc.

    America's a bit different in that almost all schools have bullies, even the expensive prep ones. I went to St. Andrew's Sewanee in Tennessee for one year, and that was enough for me. It was like college in that there was a campus, dorm life, etc, only you couldn't ever leave, lights out was a 9:30, the food was god awful, and we were in the middle of the woods on a rock in Tennessee with nothing to do. Winter in Tennessee is nonstop fog, so you feel the rest of the world's just been erased. You gotta make your bed every morning or they put you into forced labor, cleaning up around school. The only entertainment was Nick at Nite, and wondering which kid would get expelled next for snapping, and doing something crazy - like stealing a teacher's ritalin and snuffing it to get high, or stealing from the dorms in nearby Sewanee College. It was just to relieve the boredom. I did okay academically but switched the next year.

    The next three years I went to Catholic High for Boys in Little Rock, AR. It was hell, but at least I had freedom afterschool, and I soon got to drive, which I loved. Looking over other stories here, I got off lucky. I was never beat up because I avoided confrontation, but I was abused and threatened each and every day there. At pep rallies, I was almost made the laughing stock of school, but there was always one kid even nerdier than me they would pick to pull to the middle of the gym and call names at.

    My response was just to ignore my present life and just fantasize all day. One thing, my parents were musicians and made me sit through many long concerts and church services as a child, so I learned early on how to sit and contemplate, and entertain myself. So I never really needed the company of others. There was a good session on NPR's Fresh Air about Hoarders (people who compulsively buy stuff) and one part of it fit the bill with me, although I don't hoard - I collect . But, I feel more comfortable around stuff than with most people.

    College was much better but I was still messed up and a few things I missed out on were making lasting friends. I have a couple on facebook but we don't talk, and I don't know a thing about their lives now. It's taken me awhile to learn the importance of listening to other people. It takes a strong will for me to concentrate on what others are saying, and to learn their names. I also had a hard time speaking publically, but being a teacher has helped tremendously with all these problems. Now I memorize hundreds of names each year, and since many of my students are adults, I've made friends with them as well.

    I gotta go, but part of why I'm posting this is for lessons learned. later.

    EDIT:

    Okay, so the point of all this...
    1. get your kids active early in socializing, developing friendships, etc. One of the best gifts you can ever give your child is lasting friendships with good people. It helps if you have friends around your age with children. Another big part is not moving after you already have kids. My parents moved me to six different schools from K-12. Part of it was that the local private schools only went up to 6th, and then another only went to 8th, etc. Make sure your kids have time to socialize. Seems like a no-brainer, but my folks moved us out to a lake surrounded by elderly neighbors, and the only kids who came to visit were there for violin lessons, so they were always busy. My brothers and I were alone most of the time - our best friends were the TV and our Nintendo.

    2. The way a school is designed has a big impact on student experiences. Smaller schools are usually better (someone prove me wrong), as are schools for academically gifted students. Every kid is a unique challenge to raise, and when you put thousands of them together, it just compounds these problems exponentially. The school where I teach now (Slovakia) divides students into different classes for each year. For example, the 4th years are divided into 4A, 4B, 4C, and 4D, so they form stronger bonds and take care of each other. There's very little bullying in our schools here. When it happens, teachers see it quickly, and have class meetings to address it and end the hostilities. Students here say there's lots of bullying and fighting outside school, but I'm curious what "a lot" is. Somehow I think it's much worse in the US. At the very least, though, if your child hates his school, don't just make him suffer through it endlessly.

    3. Church is a great place to turn a kid OCD and introverted. Teaching your children how to dance and possibly to play guitar will help them in lots of social situations. Probably also Karate, although that may backfire when they beat you up and take your car.

    4. College is hella fun, but the price these days is so high (in America) it's not always worth it. Examine as early as you can what you want to study, and whether you need college. If you can get the scholarships, then hell yes, go. Like Lewis Black says, it's an extra four years removed from reality, where kids can get their shit together. But, if I could go back, I'd save my money at a state school. It all stems from that I was listless as a teenager. I just went along, doing what my parents told me, enjoying the ride and not thinking for myself. My parents steered me pretty well, and I'm grateful they spent so much effort and money on me. It's just that times have changed now, and for what I want to be, I probably should've found a cheaper school and stayed on a clearer path to the degree I wanted (teaching art).

    5. For kids, don't blame your parents! Sure, every household situation is different, but my brother went through the same schools as I did, and is still angry at mom and dad for whatever he suffered. I don't think he even got it as bad as I did. He was accepted pretty well by the smarter kids in his class (he had a better class academically), made more friends, graduated 4th in his class, and went on to Brown in Providence, where again, he made friends but wasn't all that happy. Whether you enjoy your school/life is mostly up to you.
    Last edited by TASmith; May 9th, 2010 at 09:34 AM.

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    I actually didn't mind high school. I had quite a few friends, got along with most people, and almost everyone i graduated with, i knew fairly well and/or grew up with. Then again, i had a graduating class of 29 people.
    It wasn't bad. I wish i had known of concept art back then so i could have gotten a bigger head start.
    I moved out of the small town i was in the first chance i got and knocked out all my general education as soon as i could, then went to art school and still dont regret the decision. So yea, i guess my high school/leading up to college wasn't all that bad. I just wish i wasn't so naive upon leaving high school. I walked into some major screwups once i was on my own, but then again, im sure everyone does.
    "I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain."
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    I went to a British school in New Delhi for high school and actually had a great time there, much better than middle school. All the classes were tiny, so everyone knew each other very well. I was actually kind of a social dud and my classmates made a huge effort to get me to open up, so I was extremely lucky to have them.

    Not much to note art wise, I was on the med track back then and kept at it until the middle of college. However, in high school I did get my first good art teacher- I didn't learn anything technique wise from her, but she was the first person who ever told me "this sucks, do it again." I hated her for a year and adored her the next, when my work actually started to improve .

    Judging by conversations I've had with just about everyone I know, I had a pretty uniquely awesome high school experience...

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