Beyond The Book: Childhood sucks, school doesn't matter, adulthood isn't all drudgery
I'm crying. Thank you. (I'm 14) This is actually SUPER impactful on my brain.
I can concur. The most miserable years of my life were middle school and high school. And as someone who got straight A’s all the way through, I can also concur grades don’t mean shit as an adult. School literally felt like a prison to me complete with psychological trauma from other inmates, and it is WILD to me how EVERYONE in my life normalized sending me off to that place of violent capitalistic conditioning like it was no big deal.
For me not only was it NOT the best years of my life but it was literally the source of so much of my trauma and PTSD being forced to go to a place of active trauma 8+ hours a day 5 days a week with no escape. Even just having the autonomy as an adult to say no and have it actually listened to and respected is like euphoria compared to my childhood and teen years. Yeah being an adult has more shit to deal with but if you can extract yourself from the capitalist mindset of external validation based on bullshit unachievable goals, the freedom to just BE as an adult, and live your life according to your own internal wisdom, is something I wouldn’t trade for the world.
Omg! I’m a psychologist and I’ve been saying these three things to parents and kids for YEARS! thanks! 😘
Très bien, merci! 😀 I talk to my 16-year-old niece every day. I’m good on points 1 and 3 and will make more of an effort to “big up” adulthood. Being able to eat whatever you want whenever you want is HUGE...
I want so badly to share this essay with my dad, who spent my miserable teen years telling me my depression and anxiety weren't real and whatever was going on in my personal life didn't matter because good grades and getting into college were the only important things. I'm 39 and still trying to unlearn that toxic message. Thank you for summing this up so succinctly!
I'm a mental health counselor specializing in teens and young adults. I have these conversations so often and they are so needed! Thank you! Hopefully more people will stop pushing kids so hard for stuff that doesn't matter.
Oh wow. I'm going to have my spouse read this, then my kids. Thank you.
This is amazing. I don't have children, but I am a proud auntie who can help to reinforce/tell the truth with my nieces and nephew.
Thank you for this. Just shared with my 14 year old. So important and it’s amazing to be reminded of what’s real again.
You have the priorities correct. Thanks for this post. I remember telling people I didn't send my girls to school to get a job, because they already knew how to do that. I never talked to them about grades. They looked at me as if I was pitiful and weird. From years ago this- from Wendell Berry- “The complexity of our present trouble suggests as never before that we need to change our present concept of education. Education is not properly an industry, and its proper use is not to serve industries, either by job-training or by industry-subsidized research. Its proper use is to enable citizens to live lives that are economically, politically, socially, and culturally responsible. This cannot be done by gathering or "accessing" what we now call "information" - which is to say facts without context and therefore without priority. A proper education enables young people to put their lives in order, which means knowing what things are more important than other things; it means putting first things first.”
100 % to all of this! And also thank you.
Great read. My kiddo is younger but there's so much here that I can use/ incorporate/ keep in mind for later on. Thank you!
Thank you, helpful.
Yes yes all of this. It is hard enough to talk about the big things we don't know all of what will happen with, like climate change, and war. But learning and academics sometimes seem completely unrelated to each other. And the millions of ways kids measure themselves (following our lead) and we measure them against each other, in this society, are nothing but harmful. Here's to futures for our kids full of agency and liberation and air to breathe. Enjoy Paris!!!
Having conversations daily over here with one Emo Teen... so I feel this post! Thank you, Ijeoma.
And have just the best time in Paris!