If school is not for you
True life story of a young person who left school early
This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of SpunOut.ie. It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for SpunOut.ie please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
"I am not telling you to leave school, but if you do make that choice: try and have a plan."
How do you know if school is not for you?
Speaking from my own experience, I found that I just wasn't interested in what we were doing in school. One thing just led to another until I found myself acting like a pure d!*k and disrupting classes with my excessive messing, talking and arguing in class.
Of course, this meant that the rest of the class were being held back as well. Because I had no interest in what we were learning, I could not and would not study. At the end of the day, I knew I could not pass my Leaving Cert unless I studied.
It was then that I decided to leave school, but of course I left with a plan. I had three options at this stage – well four really, and I knew that I didn't want to be a bum for the rest of my life! Sure, I could have gathered myself to stay for a few extra months and pulled through my exams, but I knew that I wouldn't be able to do that. Of course, if I had done that, then I could have stayed with my friends for the rest of the school year and then looked for an interesting college course.
Another option I had was the trade option, but I had no interest in this either. If you want to choose a trade, I think FÁS is the direction to go, as they offer a lot of courses such as building, carpentry, and plumbing and you also get a weekly allowance. Nowadays, an apprenticeship is important for whatever trade you are thinking of doing. After you complete this, you are qualified in the trade you have chosen. You also get to meet new people, some you like and some you don't like, but that's all part of personal development and stuff.
Another option is to do a Youthreach course. This is what I have chosen to do and I love it. In Youthreach, you do some modules like food, cookery and maths. There are no exams, but you are assessed throughout the year and your final product is corrected. For your work, you get a small wage at the end of the week, which is nice. I started last January and I am now doing a part-time course in Derry in Music Technology.
Now, I am not telling you to leave school, but if you do make that choice: try and have a plan. When I left school, people thought I was going to be a waster and that really made me feel bad. Now that I'm doing something good for myself, I feel I've made the right move.