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School 101.. The good, the horror and the just plain awkward.

G’day my friends.

School. The one thing all of us have in common. Whether you were home schooled, went to a private or public school or even a ‘special’ school, we have all had to endure the 12 years of relentless torture. And then add on the 3 or more years of Uni or College that we voluntarily entered into because we wanted more torture.

We have all been there.

The one thing that is different though are our experiences. Some were straight A students, others were C grade or failing. Some were bullied, others the bullies. Then you had the Artsy Kids, the Sporty kids and then the kids who seemed to feel invisible.

I was the awkwardly invisible one. Sure I dabbled in every area; Academia, the Arts and Sports. However, even within those areas, I wasn’t popular and was probably considered the ‘needy loner’.

Oh yeah, you read that right. I was called needy. I wonder why…..

However, I wanted to talk about every high and low one can experience in school, and how it shapes you.

School Lesson 1: Use the hard times to grow your character

circa 2011. On the path the growth!

Let’s face it we have all been bullied or name called at some stage at school.

Some of us were picked on by their peers and others by teachers and even parents! Oh yes, we have all seen the parents during track and field days or sporting carnivals who are just a little too competitive.

Even I wasn’t immune to realm of bullies. Being disabled, certainly does draw a bit of attention.   

I was called nearly every name under the sun that had anything to do with my disability. Kids stayed away from me because they thought my condition was contagious. See even back then social distancing was a thing!

I had a teacher who decided that intimidation tactics and favourites was the best way to teach. As a shy, and timid 11 year old, it certainly rocked my confidence. It even impacted me through high schooI! I was too scared to ask for help in my classes until year 11 out of fear of being yelled at. I know crazy huh!  

At the end of the day, we all have unique traits that make us who we are! I like to view it as our awesome personality differences. We all have them. Imagine if we were all the same.. Can we please just take a second to remember the Madagascar movie where Marty sees a heard of Zebra who talk and act just like him…. Freaky huh? Imagine if that is what the world would be if we were the same. Yeah no thank you!

 I find that bullies don’t really have an issue with you but there is something within themselves that they don’t like.  They probably feel intimidated by you and take out their frustrations on you. Yes, it is so not healthy or right, but once you realise that it feels like a weight has been lifted on your shoulders.

Some people have taken their experiences and used them to their advantage! Some people have learnt self defence and have turned it into the best career ever (Jackie Chan anyone).

I have turned the hurtful words spoken about me around into motivation for my career.. or should I say the degree I am currently studying. I think it has served me well especially last year, I didn’t mind the solitude. Even in year 12 I loved nothing more than a bit of me-time in the sun and watching the seniors play a game of soccer.

School isn’t all that bad if not a touch awkward!

I have no words. so will just leave this here.

school wasn’t all doom and gloom! It was fun if not a bit awkward at times.

I loved the study, and I felt was my job. It was the one thing I knew I could excel at.

I even was in the musical when I was in year 9! I was in the chorus and loved the rehearsals, and even had a small roll! It was a big deal for this little duckling!

However, my disability stole the show! The opening night I made a break early to get off the stage a beat or two before everyone else at the end of the show. I left too early and was in the stampede of kids! I was pushed and down she went! I ended up with my fingers buddy strapped for the next performance. Try doing a peace sing with fingers strapped together. It turned into a Spock greeting than a peace sign. Everyone around me broke character it was the best! did I also mention that I was gushing to someone about how cute our lead was and his mother was standing right there… I was mortified! But lesson learnt!

I even participated in the cross-country event in year 8 and 12. I had friends that walked it with me the whole time. For me it felt like a hike than a fund run! It was 2km of uneven and hilly ground. I fell a hand full of times in year 8. In year 12 we cranked up the music and sang very off key the whole way. I think we took longer to finish it, not because I was slow, but because we were laughing our heads off! At the end the whole school did a guard of honour and made me weep like a baby.

What I am getting at is, the more you throw yourself into things the better your schooling life is like. I regret not doing more things.

If you hated primary school chances, are you loved high school. The teachers treated you more like adults, and you could actually have a conversation with them! I loved high school for that reason alone!

School isn’t all that bad right?? There are some perks to school! Did I mention your day is planned out for you and all you have to do is show up!? I miss school for that reason!

The best things come from hard moments

I completed a subject of uni at school. I am sitting on the couch smiling at the camera in a blue and white patterned dress. I am holding my certificate of completion
I did a subject of uni while at school! Yes overachieving a little.

While you are making your way through 12 years of relentless study, you learn not just how to tell time, algebra, how to write poetry and the periodic table, but you learn values for life.

Through everything at school, even like i said before the intimidating teachers and the bullies, you learn so much.

I learnt how to treat others, I learnt that your differences make you who you are and they should be celebrated.

You my friend are perfect in every way.

School makes us hate our uniqueness, and I am telling you the sooner you embrace your uniqueness, the sooner you can rise above those who try to bring you down.

What bullies say to you is NOT true.

Instead of feeling sad or angry, I urge you to feel compassion to those who pick on you. And use it to your advantage! I kick started my degree in highschool because of them and don’t regret it for one second!

The power of forgiveness

After my high school formal.. Or Prom.

I also urge you to forgive in your own time, those who have done wrong by you.

I found as soon as I reached a point in my life, screamed a mental ‘no’ and forgave those pesky kids, the weight that lifted off my shoulders was immense.

I can look back at the hard times at school say Thankyou to everyone what was a part of the schooling experience.

I know that is insanely weird and you are probably reading this going “what on earth is she doing?”

However there is only so long that you can hold onto anger and grief.

The reason I thank those people is because they made me stronger, and gave me the passion to study law and start my degree. Law was not on the radar when I started high school, but by the end it was all I could think about!

Thanks to them it gave me the overwhelming desire to help others and this blog and the degree seemed like the right way to go!

And I know that if you forgive those who wronged you, you will experience the same relief as I did. However, just because you forgive someone, doesn’t mean that you don’t forget. You simply realised that you have no space in your heart to be held down by resentment and despair. You take the power back and trust me you feel like Superman… Or Woman.. Or Deadpool. Whatever you choose.

Remember.. Have Fun!!

Off to my year 11 dinner. super flash!

Oh I almost forgot! Please whatever you do, don’t take yourself so seriously!!

School is made for not only hard work, but fun!

If you sit by yourself at lunch bring a book with you or simply find something that is enjoyable for you. I loved reading in the sun and like I said before laughing at the people attempting to play soccer.

Develop your confidence in front of those who mock you. It shows you are strong, and that their words simply do not hurt you any more.

This just doesn’t apply to school, but also in the work place, and even family functions. Once you become so certain within yourself, you ignore the outside chatter that can ruin you mentally, physically, and spiritually. If you can do that, you are one step closer to being invincible! Booya!

Simply embrace your uniqueness!

three pictures of me at different stages of life. The first one i am young and holding a rainbow lollypop. The next two are when i am older. the first i am smiling that the camera wearing a black cap, glasses and a polo shirt. The next i am wearing my glasses, my hair cut to shoulder length and in a white shirt and checked blazer.
from primary school to high school graduate. Not too shabby.

I implore all of you to forgive yourself for any mistakes or wrong decisions in your life. Forgive those who did wrong by you, and to thank them. Show them in your actions from here on in that you will become who you want to become.

The last lesson is embracing your uniqueness. Remember, everyone is unique. It is what makes as all special and stops the world becoming all the same.

What makes you unique is what makes you beautiful.

Find a way to embrace it, by looking in the mirror and picking out 5 things that you love about yourself, wear your favourite outfit or simply rock the wheelchair like nobody else has before.

School has the ability to launch you into your future in ways you could never imagine.

You just need to be patient, find something to hold on to, be present, and love yourself unconditionally.

Remember that if things are getting too difficult, it is never shameful to ask for help.

In fact asking for help is one of the strongest things you can do. I wish I had done it sooner.

Once you view things as an opportunity to learn and grow instead of looking at it negatively, that is where the journey really begins.

I have all the faith in the world that you, my dear friend, will get through any obtiscale with grace. Remember you are loved, you are special and you have a purpose.

See, school had more purpose than just reading a horrid textbook, and staring at the chalk board trying not to fall asleep!

See you all next week!


-Rhi xo

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