The Hidden Side Of School
Updated: Apr 25
Parents always think that a 12-year-old's life is all sunshine and rainbows, with everything taken care of and no stress. But recent studies have shown that even us kids with seemingly easy lives can experience stress too. Let me tell you about my own experience.
When I was 12, my parents were super caring and I went to a decent school. At first, everything was chill. I made some friends, aced my classes, and my parents were always praising me. But as time went on, I started to feel like I needed more. I was maturing and my mind was becoming more complex. Simple compliments from my parents weren't enough anymore, I wanted more out of life.
But it wasn't just me. The whole school environment changed as we got older. Everyone started to care more about being accepted by our peers and even our teachers. The school turned into a mini-society, with the students being the coworkers and the teachers being the bosses. Being popular became the number one concern for so many of us.
Now, there were two ways to become popular - either you had to be liked by the teachers or the students. If you wanted the teachers to like you, just being good in academics wasn't enough. Teachers are humans too and they have their own preferences. For example, if your teacher likes outgoing and talkative people and you're more of an introvert, it would be harder to win them over. And if you wanted to be popular among the students, you had to know all the latest trends and be good at fitting in with the crowd.
It was crazy how many kids were trying to be popular. So many of us ended up conforming to fit the image of the past or current popular kids. It was like we were all playing a game to see who could be the coolest, and it could be pretty stressful trying to keep up.
Alright, so there was this girl in my 4th grade class, let's call her Alice. She was pretty cool, always had some creative ideas, and like most of us, she wanted to be popular. And of course, there was Jonna, the most popular girl in class. Everyone wanted to be like her, including Alice. Alice started to pay close attention to Jonna, trying to figure out the secret to her popularity. She noticed that whenever Jonna spoke up in class, the teacher would listen carefully and give her props. So, Alice thought that being outspoken was the key to being cool, and that she needed to prove that she was her own person.
So, she started to break the teacher's rules on purpose. When the teacher said no gum allowed in school, Alice brought in a pack and shared it with her classmates, thinking it would make her look rebellious and independent. But that plan backfired like crazy. The teacher found out, and instead of owning up to her mistake, Alice tried to act like it was no big deal. Needless to say, the teacher wasn't having it and sent her to the principal's office.
But the drama didn't end there. Word quickly spread throughout the class about Alice's behavior, and all her former fans turned on her. They saw her as a desperate try-hard who failed miserably. It was brutal. Poor Alice became an outcast, mocked and ridiculed by her classmates, all because she was trying to fit in.
As adolescents, we are thrown into a complex social system that is full of challenges, but no one seems to teach us how to navigate it. We're left to figure it out on our own, stumbling and making mistakes along the way. It's like being thrown into a maze blindfolded with no map and no sense of direction.
As if that wasn't bad enough, our young minds are still developing, and we don't yet have the emotional maturity to handle the intense changes that come with growing up. It's a rollercoaster of emotions that we can't seem to control, and poor Alice was right in the thick of it.
Trying to fit in and be popular is a major goal for many kids, but it's not always easy to achieve. We watch the popular kids with envy, wondering what secret they know that we don't. Alice was no exception, and she thought she had it figured out - she just needed to be more outspoken. But as we all know, trying to change ourselves to fit someone else's mold rarely works out in our favor.
The hardest part is that we often don't even understand what's going on inside our own heads, let alone know how to express it to the people around us. We just feel this heavy weight on our shoulders that seems impossible to shake off. And even if we do manage to articulate what's going on, we might not feel comfortable sharing it with our parents or teachers because we think they won't understand.
It's tough to deal with all these negative emotions day in and day out, especially when we have to show up to school every single day. It's not like we can just hit the pause button and take a break from it all. It's a constant battle, and it's easy to feel like we're fighting it alone.
You might think that improving children's mental health and social skills is the way to go. But let's face it, we can't just sit around waiting for things to magically change. We need a solution that works for us now. And that's where Total Customized Education comes in. It's a fancy term I came up with for the educational approach I'm currently using.
Let me tell you, it's been a total game-changer for me. I get to create my own schedule, choose the teacher that's right for me, and learn what I'm actually interested in. No more pointless lectures on topics I'll never use in the real world. And the best part? I get to interact with people who appreciate me for who I am.
I know what you're thinking, it sounds too good to be true, right? But trust me, it's not. I've been doing this for the past three years and I'm loving every moment of it. In my next post, I'll go into more detail about how it works and how it's helped me. So stay tuned!