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  1. #1
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    May 2014
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    Your high school experience .

    Hello everyone , i'm in my 2nd year of highschool now and i'm curious how more matured artists feel about their highschool years .

    To be honest, i'm sick of my highschool . Since the very first day of being a part of my country's education system , i've been told that getting good grades makes your future brighter . I've lived by that belief for 10 whole years and now it seems so disgusting for me .

    Where i live , students are expected to spend 8 hours a day at school from monday to friday,learn more than 10 subjects , to make it worse , taking extra classes(mainly math ,physic,chemistry ) has transformed from being optional to a requirement for almost everyone. Meanwhile, teachers keep solving disposable information that we will forget next year so we can do test and get good grades .

    So basically , everything about my education is just to prepare for tests and tests , so i can take tests to get to college to get more tests so i can do the final test for a certification . Here's the twist , colleges no longer guarantee people's jobs anymore so it's a mess here

    TL&DR : I'm so lost right now . I find my time spent into highschool's work a waste , but at the same time, i just can't ignore it .

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  3. #2
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    Jan 2010
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    Just survive it.

    After you graduate, it is going to be a different flavor of rat race.

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  5. #3
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    Aug 2013
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    Have a cup of tea, and take some deep breaths. I know it sounds cheesy, but think of it like a mini review on life. You'll be doing those 8 hours in work when you graduate,Putting improtance on things you may not even care about later in life, and replace tests with money. It's everywhere, that's just how life is.

    Stop wasting time thinking about things you can't change. What does lamenting on highschool help you but crap out your mood? Get those good grades, don't make it harder for you later on, and realize life doesn't change AT ALL unless you change it. Feel like you're going nowhere drifting along? Well you are and will be. Set some goals and start following them.

    ------------------------------------Pep talk over---------------------------------------------

    I actually liked highschool, I like to learn and what ever I found uninteresting I just filled in the blanks and moved on. I liked having a neat schedule, and being surrounded by people my age with similar interests.I had my my own fare share of teenage crisis so younger me might of told you other wise. In My 3rd year I Went into Advanced art with my first Major deadlines drew myself to what felt like near death with friends and it was awesome.

    The year after it was actually the hardest for me, when you realize no one will be breathing down your neck to get anything done, that only you change your life, and that it actually wasn't any different from before other than those people my age were no longer there every day. Highschool at least took my mind off of that. But then I kicked my butt, disceplined myself and everything went dandy.

  6. #4
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    Apr 2013
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    My classmates thought I was a satanist. That sums up my highschool experience.

    EDIT: The plot twists is, sometimes I actually miss certain elements of highschool. Like, being with real, "hey I'm weird, you are weird, let's be weird together" type of friends. And getting ready for a math test is still a lot easier than suddenly realizing you are an adult and need to act like it = that's basically post high school life. For me, at least.
    It all began with a crocodile sketch...

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  7. #5
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    Sep 2007
    Oxford, UK
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    Speaking as someone who did not go to school (except half a year when I was 16 to try it out), I can heartily recommend dropping it. School is super inefficient for learning stuff, and it takes up loads of time with busywork. You're right, it's a waste of time designed not for learning but for tests and having a piece of paper at the end. Pre-college is especially pointless. School is not compulsory. Suffering in it is not necessary.

    That said, if you do decide to drop out, know that some careers will be harder to get into. It'll take more work and more proof that you know your stuff. Some careers are entirely closed off to home-educated/self-taught people, due to regulations (e.g. doctor, lawyer, etc.). Having self-motivation is hard, especially for people used to school telling them what to do.

    Fortunately, art is one of those subjects where school qualifications mean zilch. Artists get judged by their portfolios and experience and references, not a piece of paper that said they spent X years at an art school.

    Also, it should be said that there are art schools you can go which are decent. There are a number of ateliers which look very good. If you search around, you can find reviews. Noah Bradley's advice might be helpful.

    Unfortunately, art as a career is hard. Nothing will come easy; it requires a lot of dedication, study, effort, 'feast and famine' periods. Backup plan or day job is advised. If your backup plan requires the qualification (note: very few jobs actually require it, so long as you can prove you're very good), then it might be wise to plough through highschool.

    Aim high. Don't give up, don't give in to pressure if you think you can do better outside the school system. Look up home-education, unschooling, famous drop-outs. Find out what the actual difficulty is, how people have dealt with the difficulties. Know that it is a hard path, but rewarding. Consider going to an atelier instead for studying, if you still want the structure but don't want the bullshit.
    Sketchbook | Composition tutorial
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  8. #6
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    Feb 2010
    Sydney, Australia
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    I hated high school. Loathed it. I wouldn't go back if you paid me, and my experiences were, in spite of being unpleasant, still a lot better than most people's. I still get dreams about it. I still want to scream at people who slighted me ten years ago.

    But there is one thing that I think is valuable about high school. You know how they're always pushing you to get amazing grades? You're right; for the most part, those grades are useless except for certain tests, after which you'll never care again and forget everything.

    But they're right, you should strive for them anyway.

    Because one thing school teaches damn well is self discipline, how to work hard and how to apply yourself. I thought that the ends didn't justify the means. I thought I'd wait to work hard until I was doing something enjoyable. So I completely slacked off and never, ever tried, and only did the bare minimum, and even then my teachers basically had to hold my hand to the stove. I was constantly on my teachers' shitlists.

    Other than the obvious, there were two problems with this:

    1. I was completely shit at doing things I didn't want to do, and life is absolutely full of shit people don't want to do.

    That makes it sound like these things are UTTERLY TERRIBLE YOU WILL BE MISERABLE ADULTING IS HORRIBLE (because that's the impression I got as a kid when people told me this) but it's honestly not that bad -- I have to do things I don't like all the time, and in high school it was the End of the World, but when you get older you get better at coping with stuff you don't like so you just do things without caring that you don't actually like doing it.

    But in spite of that, if you've already developed the habit of avoiding things you don't like, when you're older things will dog pile on you before you blink because you thought you'd leave something until tomorrow and suddenly it's three weeks from yesterday and whoops it was due a week ago, because time passes so quickly things go forgotten so easily. There's way more wiggle room in high school. If you get into the habit of doing work that you see as a waste of time, you'll have the skills to stay on top of things as an adult.

    2. If you aren't good at doing things you don't want to do, you will be just as bad as disciplining yourself for things you WANT to do.

    I'm not kidding. I love to draw and write, but I've spent six years developing my self discipline and it is still shit, I'm still constantly disorganised and struggling to manage my time and stamina, because even though I love drawing there are times when I'm too tired, too sick, or I want to play video games instead, or some friends want me to go out with them and I have something due in three days that I've had five weeks to do and somehow never did because even though I feel like I'm busting my ass to stay on top somehow everything keeps falling through the cracks. Everything.

    I constantly feel I'm working hard, working harder than anyone else I know -- and yet, somehow, at the end of each week I realise there's ten million things I forgot to do that are all due tomorrow and I just want to hit my head against a wall because this has never gone away no matter how hard I try. Doing the things that I even want to do is hard. I want to finish my homework, I want to impress my teachers, and yet most of my effort goes into prying myself away from something so I feel like I'm working hard, because I'm expending so much effort just trying to get myself to stop being distracted, but I'm actually doing just about nothing.

    I am in college right now and I constantly struggle to stay afloat because my procrastination and attention span are terrible. Sure, I can do things I don't want to do better now, but in high school I never learned to suck it up and deal with it so now I'm learning that skill at a time of my life when I have way less room for mistakes because they're more costly. But the problem is, part of learning involves making mistakes -- so I have to make them right left and centre in order to learn, but they're costing me a lot.

    So to TL;DR -- I agree with you. High school sucks, it's awful, it's horrible and I love being an adult. But seriously -- high school is the best possible time of your life to learn how to discipline yourself, and it'll be a lot more painful to learn it later, like I am. Deal with the fact you'll never use that information again, but learn what it's truly supposed to teach you -- how to get your act together when you feel like crap.

    Also the irony is I'm writing this instead of doing an assignment that was due yesterday, so I'm off to do that now.

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  10. #7
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    Highschool for me was a miasma of lethargy and depression. Just something in hindsight that I had to go through the motions to survive. I had far bigger and tougher issues to deal with. And highschool was just one in a long chain of events that I had to endure.

    In a way, it's 'good' that it wasn't a good time for you, at least in the long run. It's better to break early rather than in your mid 30s with more riding on the line. And besides, if Highschool was one of the best periods of your life, you might as well end your life right then and there after graduation, because it's only downhill from there.
    "Never regret thy fall from grace, O' spirit of Icarian flight, for the greatest tragedy of them all to face, is to never feel the burning bright"
    Believe my lies, for I tell the truth about them. Or would you rather me lie about telling the truth?

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  11. #8
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    Sep 2011
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    ^^ I agree with all above posts (except the dropping out one. Don't do it.)

    Yeah, the education system is flawed, but so is life. Best get used to it.
    I had the same ideas lodged in my head throughout most of my schooling - the 'this is pointless' and 'I'll never use this again' kind of stuff. It wasn't until my last year of college that I realized how much hidden benefit I was missing out on because of that attitude. Not the actual information (I remember almost nothing I learned in high school) but like Umbravita and others said, the learning how to learn, the learning how to suck it up and do shit you don't like, the learning how to manage time and analyze concepts and push your brain to process something difficult simply because you have to. Like the mental gymnastics you have to do to cram in chemistry concepts before a big test that you don't have the option of failing. Anyway, I always had the 'this is so stupid' attitude, and knowing what I do now, I wish I could go back and do the whole thing again.

    But that's not the only thing - it is a system after all and you're in it whether you want to be or not. If you want, and I mean ever have even considered one of the 'professional' careers (e.g. engineering, law), you need to do well in school. Period. You can screw up a little bit in high school (better to screw up in high school than college, imho), but if you slack off and start to slip in the aforementioned skills, it's going to be harder and harder to come back. I've reached the age where I can start to look back and see the paths peoples lives have followed since high school (thanks Facebook!), and I can tell you that getting good grades does make your future brighter. Think of yourself as standing in a big room with thousands of open doors. Every time you make a decision in life, a couple of those doors slam shut. Ain't none of them ever open up. And let me be the first to tell you that at your second year in high school, you don't know for sure what you want to do when you grow up. Maybe it's art, maybe it's not. You are free to pursue it, but do yourself a favor and keep some of those doors open. I have plenty of friends who followed their passion only to find that either their passion didn't lead to work, or it turned out not to be such a passion after all.

    So yeah, we're all stuck in the rat race. But I guess the best you can do is find the good in it, and focus on that instead of the flaws. You'll be a stronger person for it.

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  13. #9
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    May 2014
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    Thank everyone for posting their opinion . I had been kinda reluctant to post this kind of stuff here but it turned out to be ok , fortunately .

    I have to admit that school is more pleasant to deal with when i try making the most out of the true value of education and not those shitty grade/paper stuff . I wish somebody had told me about these before

  14. #10
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    Jul 2014
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    What made day to day activities bearable for me, despite having a mental illness, was talking to people. I talked to the lunch ladies, the front desk secretary, and the attendance office workers. It helped that they were all old ladies, some of them even had grandchildren.

    My biggest chats were with my counselor. I don't know if your school has a separate counselor for education and personal difficulties, but mine was rolled into one, so she had a good idea about what I was learning and how I felt about it. Mine was understanding, and it didn't hurt that she had a candy jar open to all. But even if you don't like sweets, the counselor should always be open to complaints without judgement, verbally at least. They'll never divulge information to others unless your well-being is being threatened. It's their job. If they don't do their job and say something hurtful, they are not your friends at school, so you can always point out if they make you uncomfortable or agitated. They're supposed to be a verbal punching bag, all they non-verbally ask in return is that you try your best to be happy outside of their office. Also, if you get real chummy with them, mine talked about the happenings going on, so I knew a good chunk about what was happening with the system, getting information before anyone else.

    But for feeling motivated, I'd say that theater does a good number on people. Working with a group of people on a project that you can visually see get accomplished brightens everyone up. You don't have to be on stage, I worked with tech getting dirty with paint and sawdust as well as lighting up the stage with spotlights. We also wore all black like ninjas, but we were far from them. Working with the people is also a good experience. There were many times where a person went overboard with power, but it taught me how to deal with them specifically and to get over disagreements quickly in order to get the project done. There were times when the show wouldn't go well and we would all be frustrated, but there was something in us that wanted to try again the next time, so we trudged on. But concerning how much time it takes up, my group only took up a week's time before the opening night to rehearse, but it's different for other groups. That week, we would dedicate about seven hours a day for rehearsal, dinner was provided. During that time, we were excused from tests and homework if we felt so obliged, but I would suggest not abusing the privilege. Other schools could be different, though. With that one week came with time management to work the seven hours while still finishing homework, but it was feasible. It was one of the things I loved most.

    I don't have much to say concerning grades and tests. You can take them seriously, study just to pass, drop out, just live daily life, or otherwise, but I say to do some soul-searching and find what school means to you, if so pleased. Separate what it means to you mainly into two categories: the present and the future. You can sub-group them, you can make a chart, you can make a painting of it, but I would suggest discussing that nice mental graph with others if so pleased. Anyone who cares to listen will do. They can criticize you, enlighten you, or otherwise, the outcome of it doesn't matter, just thinking about it can put some insecurities to ease, or uncover new ones. Either one is fine.

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  16. #11
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    Jun 2011
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    I went through high school with increasingly severe anxiety and depression, to the point where I was somewhat regularly missing school because of panic attacks. I didn't get proper treatment for either until I was hospitalized in my first year of university. I was also a total latch-key kid and had far too many responsibilities at home, so I never felt like I could relate to anyone at my age. I didn't really have any friends by the time I finished high school because I couldn't tolerate immature nonsense from the friends I entered with.

    So, my advice to you: Find something outside of school you want to do. Preferably social to help keep you sane. Everyone acts like all those extracurricular physics and maths courses are the end of the world, but honestly unless you intend on becoming an engineer or something, they're pretty worthless. Do the best you can, but don't make it your life. Some examples of things I did in high school: went to punk rock shows, volunteered at a local concert venue, volunteered at an anarchist library, and speed skated. I was always surrounded by people older than me in these activities, so it gave me a social outlet when I felt I couldn't talk to kids my age. Don't do this stuff every single day unless you really want to - even just once a week or a month gives you something to look forward to and gives you a place to let yourself be you.

    The other thing I would advise is the classic "work smart, not hard". But recognize sometimes that requires working hard for a bit too. Case in point: by the end of high school I was only attending for an hour a day because I had taken advance courses in earlier grades. That meant I didn't have any spares (breaks without any classes) in grade 10 and 11, but by grade 12 I had all the freedom in the world while all my classmates were busting their asses trying to wrap up things last minute. I used that free time to exercise, work part time, and do whatever the hell else I felt like. I just did the exact same thing in university for the first two years, and now after switching programs I only have to take a class a day because I'm loaded on prerequisites. I'd recommend a similar path to you (if you intend on doing university or whatever) because it leaves you with a lot of time to grind through more difficult coursework near the end of your degree.

    Apologies if this doesn't make any sense, please feel free to ask for clarification. I've had bronchitis for the last two weeks so my brain isn't functioning as great as it normally does
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  18. #12
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    Jul 2014
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    The American school system is a horrible joke. My HS experience was horrible. I got teased a bit the first two years of high school, but the last two years, I went to a middle college, and everything was a lot better. Left behind all of the idiots.

  19. #13
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    Jul 2005
    San Francisco
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    Performance during high school is essentially culturally determined. Actions after high school are strongly culturally determined.

  20. #14
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    Feb 2008
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    Its weird to realize I've been out of high school for just over 10 years now. Its a bit difficult to remember, so maybe I'm looking at the past with rose tinted glasses, but the stupidity of high school seems sort of tame compared to the grind of the real world. Think of it this way; you are being fed, given shelter, and aside from a vague finger wagging about how things will effect "your future" there are only a few things you can do that will really have a huge impact on your life. I'd much rather be worried about final exams than tax returns.

    That said, college is fun. A ton more independence but at the same time just about the same lack of responsibility. The worst thing you can do in college (other than real biggies like contracting STDs or death by binge drinking) is acting like an idiot and contributing to the steriotype held by the people living in the town that your college happens to be in.

    edit: ok, realizing I didn't actually post anything about how I liked it at the time. Like everyone else, I hated it. Lets face it, you are at a point in your life where you want to matter, so everything feels like a big deal. When you look back at it though you realize that none of that mattered. If there was anything I hate now when I look back at those years its who I was at the time. I was just as dramatic as every other stupid teenager, thought that the day-to-day bs of a typical teenage life mattered, and especially that anything I did mattered. Granted, I wasn't any worse than other teens, in fact maybe better than a few... but lets face it, most of us as teenagers were idiots, most teenagers in general are idiots, and if there is one thing we can thank highschools for is that for 9 months or so per year they keep all of those teenagers in one place so that the rest of us don't have to deal with them.
    Last edited by Peter Coene; September 4th, 2014 at 12:13 PM.

  21. #15
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    Nov 2009
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    I din't mind high school or at least I liked it better than the last few years of middle school when I felt out of place and totally sick and bored of my classmates. I wasn't in the popular crowd but I got along with them and had my share of friends and acquaintances. I have later found out a lot of people thought I was emo because of my hair, but I wasn't I remember going smoking in the park after lunch hour with my best friend from another class, running to the lunch queue was a sport, being competitive in maths and physics with my deskmate, fearing our art history teacher and dreading russian class, I actually liked gym class and playing indoor hockey, doing snuff in the bathroom with a group people, doing my homework just before class started, DND club on Wednesdyas, making out in the far away third floor corridor during the school ball and the hung over or missed first lessons of Fridays. So I have many fond memories though I was fairly unhappy for a year but that wasn't because of school. I was pretty effortlessly good at most of my subjects and I didn't mind studying since I knew I wanted to go to uni etc. so I never rebelled against the education system and thought it was pretty OK in general. I was, however, so DONE with having to take subjects I took no interest in and didn't see as relevant to my future like chemistry, music history and sociology. So in that sense I couldn't wait to go to uni where I would finally be able to select my own modules. I paid very little attention to these subjects from then on but I got good grades in subjects and exams that mattered.

    It's been a bit over three years since high school and personally I feel life has gotten better with every year. I am in general a much more positive being than I was back then, I have more freedom and I don't mind my responsibilities. I have grown more tolerant of different people and am better at communication.

    But if movies are anything to go by high school here and in the US are pretty different. Not to mention high school here is for ages 16-19 so we're a it older and more mature I guess.

  22. #16
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    Jan 2008
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    Like everyone else, I hated highschool. I was lucky enough to find a group of people who were the same kind of nerdy as me to be friends with so they helped make things tolerable.

    As far as classes go, true, most of it is useless, but I find it helps if you think of it as a stepping stone. Figure out what career you want to pursue. Then figure out what qualifications you'll need to do it. Then figure out what courses in highschool you'll need to be admitted into the program you want in college/university. (Or what you need in your portfolio, etc.)

    I also agree with the suggestion of theatre. I joined a theatre group when I was in highschool I'm still part of today, first as an actor and later as the set painter. Theatre people are great for group camaraderie for people who hate team sports (like me). My group rehearses about 3 times a week for about 2 hours at a time, for 2-3 months for each show, with the crew (set, props, costumes) taking about the same amount of time.

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