How School Has Shaped Me

Posted on Nov 2, 2019.

I wrote this essay way back in May but I couldn't really share it back then or I wouldn't get any grades so here it is for everyone to read.

I can’t remember the first day I went to primary school, obviously it helped me learn the basics of learning to read and write but it also affected my confidence in both positive and negative ways.

My first primary school had around 550 pupils in it, 90 of which were in my year. What made matters even worse was the fact that most of the school was crammed into an open-plan room so you could hear everybody, and it would mean I could be easily distracted from my work. My mum still tells a story of the day when I came home from school and I told her that I had sat a Maths test and that it had been my best day because everyone was made to be quiet. My school had a thing where the other pupils would choose someone from their class to be Citizen of the Month and they would always vote for the popular ones. I was never chosen because I was never top of class. I liked keeping myself to myself because of my low self-esteem. Something that me made me feel unimportant was when I had two teachers in primary 3. The one I had at the start of the week gave me one set of words and the one at the end of the week would test me on another set of words, which another group had been given. The only thing I have warm memories of at that school was the support assistant I had all the way through that school. I felt looked after and noticed by her.

My favourite two years of primary were the last two when I moved to a brand-new primary school that in its first year only had an enrolment of 63 pupils. This meant that every pupil and every teacher knew who I was. In P6, I was part of the pupil council and in P7, I was head of house. I was even chosen to represent the school in a Euroquiz competition. Together with the class sizes being smaller, the whole school being less than my year in my previous school and the learning environment being quieter it made it easier to concentrate and finally get some work done. On top of this, I felt nurtured by the teachers. In short, I can’t think of any bad things about this school at all. So, you can understand that this school was instrumental in making me more independent and increase my confidence.

When I moved up to secondary school, I was a little afraid of what the teachers would be like and how tough the work would be compared to primary. But really it wasn't that hard or different at all. When we got to pick our options in the end of second year for third year it helped me think of what I wanted to do with my life and what subjects that I should pick to get where I want to be when I leave school: a web developer.

Now, a year and a half after we initially picked our subjects, we are having to sit exams in them. We must spend time studying and doing homework and finishing work for deadlines. We have teachers ranting about how important school is and how important the next six or, so months of our lives are. I feel like there is so much pressure on me right now and it is making me anxious.

When I sat my prelims about a month ago, I was quite worried about the results that I would get out at the other end. My marks from the prelims honestly weren’t that great and I think that I probably could have studied at least a little bit more. This added to my low confidence and every time one of my teachers would give me back my prelim results, I would try to not worry about how terrible it was. The problem is though, how are you meant to study? I’ve tried all sorts – writing it down multiple times to tried and remember things, writing study notes, being tested by a family member; I feel like all the different ways that I try to study, it’ll never work, and I’ll end up failing the final exam. Even worse than not being able to study, I can’t seem to concentrate on something for more than five minutes before I get frustrated or give up. This just knocks my confidence.

However, socially I feel happier than I ever have been. I have small group of good friends at school and out with school I am part of a youth group where I am comfortable and respected.

School was never this hard in primary, the most you ever had to do there was write sentences with your spelling words in. Now I’m expected to find ways of studying by myself and I’m expected to be studying for hours on end every night. I just pray that God will find a way for helping me to study and concentrate and I’ll be able to find a way to ace my final exams. However, I’m looking forward to August when I start at college doing something I want to be learning, Computing. Hopefully, a fresh start in a new atmosphere, with new people will help grow my confidence and bring out the best in me.