RIP School Survival Forums
August 2001 - June 2017

The School Survival Forums are permanently retired. If you need help with quitting school, unsupportive parents or anything else, there is a list of resources on the Help Page.

If you want to write about your experiences in school, you can write on our blog.

To everyone who joined these forums at some point, and got discouraged by the negativity and left after a while (or even got literally scared off): I'm sorry.

I wasn't good enough at encouraging people to be kinder, and removing people who refuse to be kind. Encouraging people is hard, and removing people creates conflict, and I hate conflict... so that's why I wasn't better at it.

I was a very, very sensitive teen. The atmosphere of this forum as it is now, if it had existed in 1996, would probably have upset me far more than it would have helped.

I can handle quite a lot of negativity and even abuse now, but that isn't the point. I want to help people. I want to help the people who need it the most, and I want to help people like the 1996 version of me.

I'm still figuring out the best way to do that, but as it is now, these forums are doing more harm than good, and I can't keep running them.

Thank you to the few people who have tried to understand my point of view so far. I really, really appreciate you guys. You are beautiful people.

Everyone else: If after everything I've said so far, you still don't understand my motivations, I think it's unlikely that you will. We're just too different. Maybe someday in the future it might make sense, but until then, there's no point in arguing about it. I don't have the time or the energy for arguing anymore. I will focus my time and energy on people who support me, and those who need help.

-SoulRiser

The forums are mostly read-only and are in a maintenance/testing phase, before being permanently archived. Please use this time to get the contact details of people you'd like to keep in touch with. My contact details are here.

Please do not make a mirror copy of the forums in their current state - things will still change, and some people have requested to be able to edit or delete some of their personal info.


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Reflection
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Aureate Offline
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Post: #1
Reflection

I began my stay on the SS Forums late at night, pounding out a wall of text when I should have been sleeping. I guess I've come full circle.

I joined these forums a year and a half ago because I was angry at being forced to go to school. This January, I graduated as a National Merit Finalist with a great GPA and stellar SAT scores. I have enough AP credit and dual credit hours that my college, which I'll depart for in two weeks, already considers me a sophomore. I was admired by students and teachers alike for my entire high school career, and I was never witness to, let alone subject to, bullying. Still, I'm disgusted at what was done to me in the name of education. That will never change.

Some things have changed, though, in the months that I've been quiet on the forums. I've been seventeen for a while now. My parents no longer force me to attend church services for a religion I don't profess. They no longer force me to join them on trips I don't enjoy. I can't remember the last time I was sent to my room.

Did it happen? Did I finally become an adult? To me this is all arbitrary external change, my parents losing their authoritarian convictions, the government adjusting its laws to leave me alone on the weekdays. I can't identify any change in me that would have prompted those revisions. I am exactly as I was back in ninth grade, when I was treated like a second-class citizen. More than once that year, amid a tearful argument with my parents, I slammed my eyes shut and wished to be treated like I am now. Maybe my wish was granted. Maybe that's how I got here. Maybe I opened my eyes, and then I was sitting at this keyboard with no recollection of the argument, floor fan whirling in the dark, finally free. That would explain a lot.

I found myself having similar thoughts a few weeks ago, when my father drove me to the bank to set me up with my first debit card. To do so, he wanted to transfer my money from an old account to a new one. Unfortunately, the teller told him when he tried, my account was a minor's account, opened with my mother's signature, so she needed to be present to withdraw. My father wanted at least to know the balance of the account, but the teller wasn't allowed to give us that either.

Back in the car, my father was incensed.

"They wouldn't even tell you how much money was in your account!"

I reminded him that not three years ago, he would refuse every one of my very frequent requests to know how much money I owned, on the grounds that "Kids don't need to know about that." But he was not in the mood for a debate.

My time on School Survival helped me tolerate being constantly treated like a child, even as I felt like an adult. On the whole, I'm very happy with the discussions I've had here. A few of my opinions on peripheral matters have changed considerably since I posted about them, but all my gripes about compulsory education and the dismal state of youth rights stand.

Surprisingly, the most important lesson I learned on this site was about my writing style. When I arrived here, I would occasionally try way too hard to complicate my writing. Sometimes it was to good effect, but especially in my early attempts, the archives show I was just sacrificing readability for pretentiousness. For example, take a look at this masterpiece (From here):

Quote:I submit unrestricted permission to make public use of any of my posts if the creator of this thread deems them beneficial to the youth rights movement. I am 16 years old, in case you want to provide my age alongside quotations.

As for the importance of reaching out over social media, I could not agree more. I am inclined to believe that youth outnumber adults on such websites, and that even in a strictly traditional household where a child may be denied the luxury of excellent books on youth rights, s/he will be able to garner abundant information from the internet without evoking the ire of his/her parents.

"You can use my quotes." would probably have sufficed.

My most irritating regret is that, on at least one occasion, I added an insincere caveat to a point I made out of fear that my parents would discover it and get angry. But I suppose that can't be a huge regret if I don't care enough to dig up the post and edit it. I'm just throwing that out there for the extremely unlikely event someone tries to quote me on that caveat later.

On a more serious note, I've done some awesome things since I was set free. I learned a ton about computer science, networking, and web development. I built an innovative, albeit very simplistic and completely unknown, social media website. I built a working neural net from scratch in Java. I built a program for locking computer files based on the German Enigma machine. I cleared up some major gaps in my understanding of calculus. I learned formal logic and introductory set theory. I've learned more in these several months than during all my time in school, and I've devoted far less time per day to learning.

Notwithstanding any of that, just being free tastes as good as all you still in school expect it to. Every now and then I stop to appreciate the fact that if a stranger tries to force me to exercise against my will, I can legally call the police.

I should probably conclude by saying if you hang in there, this childhood thing will be over in an instant. But I know from experience how little it improves your mood on a school night to read a promise that the end of compulsory schooling comes sooner than you think. Words on a screen written by some strange kid on the internet don't make these years go any faster. So I won't promise that. In fact, I don't even believe that.

"Doesn't it go by fast?" My grandparents asked me.

Nope. I felt every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every insufferable year of the sentence I served in those three disgusting buildings. But I made it through.

For me, that's what it meant to survive school.
08-03-2016 08:56 PM
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Post: #2
RE: Reflection

gratz...
08-04-2016 12:43 AM
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James Comey Away
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Post: #3
Reflection

You're a lot like me - I like it. I've been doing my own reflecting. You don't truly grow unless you ripen.

Kick ass in college. You're much better ahead than most of your peers.

RIP GWEDIN
RIP URITIYOGI
RIP NIGHT
RIP VONUNOV
RIP WES/THEWAKE
RIP USERNAME

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Stop jerking off to porn and whining and do something about it

Make School Survival Great Again - MSSGA

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08-04-2016 03:50 AM
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UnicornLionWolf Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Reflection

(08-04-2016 03:50 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You're a lot like me - I like it. I've been doing my own reflecting. You don't truly grow unless you ripen.

Kick ass in college. You're much better ahead than most of your peers.

What did the system do to you, if you don't mind me asking?

UnicornLionWolf
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08-04-2016 06:12 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #5
RE: Reflection

School is like the enemies in LoZ:OOT
the game's idea of difficulty is waiting!!

Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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08-04-2016 06:49 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #6
RE: Reflection

For me, life carried little purpose or meaning for a very long time. I now believe it was because all my habits were meaningless expenditures of time. I dont remember being happy very much, though I'm sure I was. Grinding away at video games, building legos, sitting in a air conditioned house in a hot summer feeling cold and bored. Not understanding or even realize I should be reflecting on this.

Since my parents live blissfully ignorant and apathetic in the 1960's I based "my" make money strategy on a vague idea that some future grantor of priviledge would be impressed that I chose a major for the belief that I needed to be well rounded.

Now at 29 I've finally made it, working with Taxes at a State Job in truth because it was the best option I had in front of me.

My growing up happened partially while in college, AWAY FROM HOME, then partially after graduating and working, then after three kids, I'm sort of getting there

Purity is to Believe only that which deserves it.
Wisdom is to follow only the Opinion which makes the best use of evidence.
Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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08-04-2016 06:59 AM
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Ky Offline
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Post: #7
Reflection

To me, school was a war of attrition, a period of intellectual stasis. My time there made me weaker because I did not have any viable means of fighting back; all I could do was wait for it to suck me dry and let me go. Indeed, I was more or less the same person when I left as when I entered - it was after I graduated, not during or before, that I started becoming a new person, who I have decided to name "Chiron."

I wish I had been able to wrest myself free sooner. Perhaps, if it had been possible, I would not be so entrenched in unending physical, mental, and emotional pain. To overcome now will be impossible; fortunately, "impossible" doesn't mean to me what it does to most.

Public Service Announcement: First world problems are still problems.
08-04-2016 07:04 AM
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SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #8
Reflection

I'm far more free than most people of pretty much any age, I suppose. It's kind of an odd feeling though, not really being able to relate to anyone's complaints about all the unpleasant things they struggle with, like jobs, school, relationship demands, etc.

I feel ignorant. I've been almost completely sheltered from all of that. School was the closest I ever got to a "real" job, and it's pretty far from that in reality.

Anything that even reeks a tiny bit of coercion makes me want to rebel against it. Even my own to-do list. I absolutely can't bring myself to do things when I feel pressured to do them by anyone or anything, including myself.

I still don't feel like "an adult". I feel irresponsible, immature, ignorant. But most other adults are jealous of me... so there's that. I don't really know how to adult, but at least I don't have to deal with the unnecessary restrictions of childhood anymore.

Is maturity somehow related to the ability to force yourself to do things you don't want to? I don't think it is... and yet that seems to be what people equate with adulthood... but at the same time they don't actually want that. It's so confusing.

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08-04-2016 07:42 AM
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UnicornLionWolf Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Reflection

(08-04-2016 07:04 AM)Chiron Wrote:  To me, school was a war of attrition, a period of intellectual stasis. My time there made me weaker because I did not have any viable means of fighting back; all I could do was wait for it to suck me dry and let me go. Indeed, I was more or less the same person when I left as when I entered - it was after I graduated, not during or before, that I started becoming a new person, who I have decided to name "Chiron."

I wish I had been able to wrest myself free sooner. Perhaps, if it had been possible, I would not be so entrenched in unending physical, mental, and emotional pain. To overcome now will be impossible; fortunately, "impossible" doesn't mean to me what it does to most.

For me I felt like I became a person I was never meant to be, as a result of trying to fit in. But for me, there's still mental and emotional pain, although not so much physical.

(08-04-2016 07:42 AM)SoulRiser Wrote:  I'm far more free than most people of pretty much any age, I suppose. It's kind of an odd feeling though, not really being able to relate to anyone's complaints about all the unpleasant things they struggle with, like jobs, school, relationship demands, etc.

I feel ignorant. I've been almost completely sheltered from all of that. School was the closest I ever got to a "real" job, and it's pretty far from that in reality.

Anything that even reeks a tiny bit of coercion makes me want to rebel against it. Even my own to-do list. I absolutely can't bring myself to do things when I feel pressured to do them by anyone or anything, including myself.

I still don't feel like "an adult". I feel irresponsible, immature, ignorant. But most other adults are jealous of me... so there's that. I don't really know how to adult, but at least I don't have to deal with the unnecessary restrictions of childhood anymore.

Is maturity somehow related to the ability to force yourself to do things you don't want to? I don't think it is... and yet that seems to be what people equate with adulthood... but at the same time they don't actually want that. It's so confusing.

I'm not sure what adulthood means at this point, or if I feel like an adult. Sometimes I want to wake up as my elementary school self and find this was all a dream.

UnicornLionWolf
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(This post was last modified: 08-04-2016 02:03 PM by UnicornLionWolf.)
08-04-2016 02:03 PM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #10
RE: Reflection

I think adulthood is doing what needs to be done regardless of how it feels, guided of course by sound ethics.

This is the perspective of a husband and father, so perhaps bias. I know its a reality I needed to confront. All in all, its really great, but there is for me this weird lingering anxiety that it will all fall apart somehow. In the meantime the ship is afloat

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Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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08-05-2016 01:40 AM
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Post: #11
RE: Reflection

(08-04-2016 06:12 AM)UnicornLionWolf Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 03:50 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You're a lot like me - I like it. I've been doing my own reflecting. You don't truly grow unless you ripen.

Kick ass in college. You're much better ahead than most of your peers.

What did the system do to you, if you don't mind me asking?

You can read my threads from 2013-14 (some pretty popular), but to put it shortly, the system pretty much made me go insane. I suffered mental breakdowns and I started doubting myself. Pretty much every day was a test to see how much I would bend until I broke. It tasted incredibly nasty, and at times, I did break.

School created a kind of psychosis for me. It's like being in some paradoxical world where the outside is irrelevant. It's not just the lessons but the popularity bullshit, connections, etc. Then you get out of it, and see how big the world really i.

RIP GWEDIN
RIP URITIYOGI
RIP NIGHT
RIP VONUNOV
RIP WES/THEWAKE
RIP USERNAME

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Stop jerking off to porn and whining and do something about it

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08-05-2016 08:39 AM
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UnicornLionWolf Offline
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Post: #12
RE: Reflection

(08-05-2016 08:39 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 06:12 AM)UnicornLionWolf Wrote:  
(08-04-2016 03:50 AM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  You're a lot like me - I like it. I've been doing my own reflecting. You don't truly grow unless you ripen.

Kick ass in college. You're much better ahead than most of your peers.

What did the system do to you, if you don't mind me asking?

You can read my threads from 2013-14 (some pretty popular), but to put it shortly, the system pretty much made me go insane. I suffered mental breakdowns and I started doubting myself. Pretty much every day was a test to see how much I would bend until I broke. It tasted incredibly nasty, and at times, I did break.

School created a kind of psychosis for me. It's like being in some paradoxical world where the outside is irrelevant. It's not just the lessons but the popularity bullshit, connections, etc. Then you get out of it, and see how big the world really i.

I can't really blame you for feeling like the popularity stuff is BS. I still feel scarred as a result of that. Especially since I got picked on.

UnicornLionWolf
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08-07-2016 03:08 PM
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James Comey Away
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Post: #13
Reflection

In hindsight I've learned there are a number of ways you can control the popular kids. If you'd like, I can detail my methods.

RIP GWEDIN
RIP URITIYOGI
RIP NIGHT
RIP VONUNOV
RIP WES/THEWAKE
RIP USERNAME

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Stop jerking off to porn and whining and do something about it

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08-07-2016 03:48 PM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #14
RE: Reflection

I would like to know

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Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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08-07-2016 10:15 PM
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Post: #15
RE: Reflection

(08-07-2016 03:48 PM)Hansgrohe Wrote:  I can detail my methods.

Methods such as TPing their house or leaving a poo in their locker?
(This post was last modified: 08-08-2016 02:33 AM by Username.)
08-08-2016 02:32 AM
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James Comey Away
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Post: #16
RE: Reflection

Those are rather basic, but pretty decent, though I'd be cautious. Touching fecal matter in general is a health hazard (and you might be known potentially as the poop kid), and TPing could get you sent to prison these days sadly.

One good way at defeating popular kids was drawing attention towards yourself. Don't do something that makes you look like an obvious attention whore, but don't just stand there and do nothing, either. Do something magnificent that'll draw attention to you, positive or negative, and you'll have your own reputation. Remember to protect this, too. The best way to do this is to do something similar to a spectacle - something that keeps everyone in awe because it is so mysterious.

Communicating with popular kids is another can of worms but it can be done is through communication; learn their methods of communicating. It used to be that you had to stalk but with the advent of social media, it's so much easier these days to learn how these people communicate. Think like a diplomat; speak to them. Using a generic one-size-fits-all voice isn't too effective. But speaking to their level, that gets them.

Remember to keep a good relationship with the teacher - this got me out of big trouble during my senior year; don't be extravagant, but show your passion and knowledge. By doing this, you'll find it much easier to get away with shit.

But the most two most important things: be bold, but be yoursef. Don't just fantasize about how things could be. Instead, plan ahead and put it in action. The world is full of brilliant thinkers who never act on their great ideas; don't be that sad nerd who spends his outside life just playing video games and jerking to porn all day; think boldly. And the most important thing that you get told: be yourself. Don't try to directly copy other styles, keep your own swagger. Improve upon it, but keep your distinctness. No one likes an imitator or another bland conformist.

That's as far as I can go. I found this useful in dismantling this one particular person. Go out with a bang.

RIP GWEDIN
RIP URITIYOGI
RIP NIGHT
RIP VONUNOV
RIP WES/THEWAKE
RIP USERNAME

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Stop jerking off to porn and whining and do something about it

Make School Survival Great Again - MSSGA

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08-08-2016 05:36 AM
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Post: #17
Reflection

This whole thread is so much win. Y'all have put the things that have been tossing around in my mind into words.

Ok, describing that as mere 'words' seems insufficient. It's like the clay has been gradually tossing around in my mind of ages, slowly taking on a form-and zap, I read this and I can see the statue it would've made. It is a beautiful one, by the way. Quite a few chunks from this thread are going into "awesome quotes".

Don't play chess with pigeons-they'll just knock over the pieces, shit on the board and strut about like they won anyway.
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To forget!?

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08-10-2016 02:04 AM
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the Analogist Offline
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Post: #18
RE: Reflection

I like that RB compiles a sort of digest of SS

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Excellence is to be mindful of all these things in Living.
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08-10-2016 06:35 AM
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