If you frequent this blog you already know a lot about me and my past. We're pretty chummy, but if you haven't here's the lo-down. When I was about 16 I left school, (which I go into more detail in some of my posts from earlier this year), and only last year (at the ripe age of 21) did I finally commit to returning to school once and for all.
I'd like to say that leaving school was hard. I had friends there and I'm alright when it comes to school. But, it was actually easy in the sense of getting taken out of school. I stayed home for about two weeks or more (I can't really remember, that time all mixes together for me) and my mum went to the office and pulled me out. Also, I was not in that great shape (mentally and emotionally) and it was the best thing for me at the time.
I then went from doing courses outside high school, to work and in-between working, I did more courses, all of which I quit. Why? Because I wasn't ready. I always knew I wanted to go to university, but I just couldn't get past that wall in my mind.
That time for me was a mixture of good and bad, but the failure of quitting followed me everywhere. I was, after all, supposed to go to university. That's what my parents wanted and that's what high school had been prepping me for. After all, I was in the "smart class". Which was essentially a group of other kids, like me, who were in a special program to push us and help us get to university.
But, I still wasn't ready. I wanted to go to university, but I didn't think that I could make it through in one piece, if at all.
So, I worked full time and for a time that was enough for me. Until it wasn't.
I think the time I knew I really wanted something more was when I quit my then current college I was attending and then I quit my work. I just decided that I didn't want to be stuck anymore. I didn't want to work somewhere that I hated. A place with great people (who I still miss) but also a place where I felt like I was being suffocated. I felt like a plant that was left in the dark, one that had wilted and that was stunted.
For about six months after that, I drifted. I stayed home and wrote. Then, one day, I had enough of feeling sorry for myself and feeling tired and sad. I just had enough. I was still stuck, even though I had the opportunity to do something. So, I set a goal for myself: university and I picked a college out. I called them almost immediately (after pacing my room for a bit), booked an interview and was enrolled for the next semester (which was like a week after that).
Now, I'm still going strong. Some days are better than others, but, god, I finally feel like I can make something of myself.
So, to sum this all up, quitting school can be good for you. Staying in school when you are unhappy and/or depressed sucks for your mental and physical health. Being away from that place can free you and allow you to get to a place where you can pursue what you want whether that means going back to school when you're ready or not.
If you're thinking about quitting school really think about it. When you cut the ties it can be hard to look back so weigh up your options and talk to people whether that means your family, friends, teachers or help centres, which I'll list at the end of this blog.
I'd definitely recommend talking to family and make sure to tell them everything. I know it might be stupid, because this is about your health, but they need to know what's going on with you. My biggest mistake when I left was not telling my family what was going on with me. I could have moved on a lot quicker than I did if I just told them. But I'm incredibly stubborn, you have no idea, so I didn't. Tell them however you want. Don't feel weak just because it's in a letter or if a friend talks for you. If it's safe to tell them (if they won't kick you out or harm you in any way) tell them.
Once you're happy with your decision and I mean truly and utterly sure that you're doing what's right for you, then do it. Just know that the journey ahead is not the easiest one but if it means that we can have still have you here, alive and completely happy, then go for it.
Here's that handy list of places to call if you need it:
Support After Suicide
Extra Help Lines:
Do Something.com - has a list of help lines, I believe it's mainly American lines.
NHS Choices - for my UK peeps.
Depression.org - for my NZ peeps.
I really do hope that helps you or maybe helps you understand one of the many reasons why someone would leave school.
As always you can follow me on one (or all) of the many places I reside on the web. I've just connected my twitter to my facebook page so there will be a lot more content on my facebook page that you might "like".
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org