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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.


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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Reflections: Looking back on my time on School Survival
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James Comey Away
Banished Oldfaf in Exile

Posts: 6,500
Joined: Aug 2013
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Post: #1
Reflections: Looking back on my time on School Survival

(This thread is a bit of a testimonial for School Survival in order to help xcriteria gain funds into turning School Survival into a legitimate area where we look to reform education, and to help update the content)

Well, this was a long time coming.

To say the least: discovering School Survival has probably been one of the greatest decisions in my life. I can't say that without enough emphasis. School Survival allowed me to challenge one of the biggest parts of mainstream American society: high school, and finding out about how it was affecting me, instead of how I was affecting it.

To start off: I've learned a number of new things since I've been a part of School Survival. I've experienced a personal "cognitive revolution" that has allowed me to discover myself in a number of different ways that I never thought was possible, and has allowed me to develop new ideas. Another thing that I learned was a major degree of self-confidence as well as actually being proud of myself, rather than ashamed. Let's elaborate.

I'm 17 about to turn 18 years old. I'm on the verge of going to college. I have Asperger syndrome. I've been to hell and back. The personal journey that I have been through, and the many twists and turns that it has had on me, has taught me a lot of things.

I remember the day I joined School Survival: it was a typical warm August morning, and school was going to start within 3 weeks. I remember reading about an article about how school was doing much more bad than it was doing good, and even since 9th grade I had begun developing thoughts of rebellion, of questioning, and of doing things differently. Reading those articles (on Cracked, of all places) cracked the egg open, and I was no longer a conformist. I started ranting and raving about my own problems, my personal opinions on pressing matters, and I was so glad to find a place that I could call my second home, a place with other teens and former teens who knew what I was going through, and where discussion could take place.

Was I an angry, rebellious teenager that needed to be tamed, or did I have a point? My personal school experience is not one that would be made into a Disney sitcom. In 6th and 7th grade, I was bullied chronically, and I didn't understand why people would act in such an evil way. My social anxiety developed to a level where I preferred complete isolation to opening up to people. I struggled to make any friends and middle school brought a lot of horrors that I still struggle with to this day (in fact, I may have developed a PTSD because of such). The exclusion and deprivation that I had to go through during those years made me realize how much the darker side existed, and what it was like to be the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Because of my diagnosis, I was forced into Special Education. This meant many classes, "accommodations", meetings, and everything in between that I was forced to endure that "normal" (read: not "learning disabled") kids didn't have to go through. I was already alienated enough by the other students, but being treated almost like some kind of target, even at times a potential delinquent, increased this alienation. I didn't want to be "abnormal" because I had learned what the consequences were. For many years, I was treated like a robot whose thinking and reading levels were on par with a 7 year old. I was never treated like a full functioning human being, but someone who was in dire suffering that needed to be monitored, and to take caution when something was going wrong. The end result: even further alienation that piled on to the trauma.

Where everyone else failed was where an unlikely source of help came. Contrary to the image of the site, School Survival is 100% pro-education and learning. Being on here has provided an education in itself: an education of self-discovery, inclusion, and participation in a cohesive community. None of this can ever be replaced or overlooked. This is not a footnote in my life, but an entire chapter. It was the opening of the gates to discovery.

The thing that I found most valuable about being on School Survival: what it was like to feel like a human being, regardless of condition or thought. Whenever I posted a thread, I wasn't pandered to in any way, like I would have been in school. Whenever I said something, I wasn't treated like a weirdo, but I was actually seen as someone contributing to a discussion. For years I had learned what it was to be stripped of humanity. School does this naturally for everyone, but especially so if one has a condition like I had, and the introversion itself not working within the structures of school. Never having friends was depressing, but I actually found friends here. I found a place of understanding, and I discovered that friendship needn't be limited. It was such a beautiful feeling, realizing that all my problems had been solved, and simply by doing things differently.

I love School Survival. I really do. I love what it has provided me with, and I love what it provides with other students. I really want to see this place go, because I know there are other people like me who are going through an entirely different struggle: the struggle of being dehumanized for years, and then suddenly being released and being expected to somehow function in mainstream society. I am indeed, a rebel without a pause. If this is what it means to be a radical, I'm in it.


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02-01-2015 09:36 AM
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 Thanks given by: xcriteria , Subb , Rule_BreakerXVIII , TheShadow , Dikont5 , Sociopath , SoulRiser , (´・ω・`) , Ky , vonunov , c00ldud3 , schoolsux , -SCS-
SoulRiser Offline
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Post: #2
Reflections: Looking back on my time on School Survival

OK, this is weird... no replies? lol

And I haven't even responded yet... even weirder.

I suppose there's not much I can think of to say in response. So I'll just give you a Hug

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02-16-2015 10:32 AM
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Ami Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Reflections: Looking back on my time on School Survival

Extremely informative. Even if it looks like mere personal experience, reading this made me realize how much of a huge help this site can offer people (I myself met the site after most of my school troubles. I wish it was earlier, but I had other help). It didn't quite dawn on me until now what kind of a boon this site can be to people who're still stuck in that place (guess I didn't read the main page enough). Anyway, not sure if this post aligns properly with your stated goals for the thread, but felt the need to share.
02-17-2015 09:29 AM
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xcriteria Offline

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Post: #4
Reflections: Looking back on my time on School Survival

Yeah, that's the thing. There are so many people out there who could use help, but don't realize anything like this exists.

Just look at the tweets for "I hate school" and similar terms. There's a constant stream of them, much bigger than the stream of those who make their way to School Survival. And... even those who find School Survival may not know quite what it and the larger network of allies can offer them.

The crowdfunding campaign we've been doing was moderately successful, and it helped us find more allies, but the contributions had a sort of burst followed by crickets. It's been an interesting experience. Many people do see the problems with school, even parents, but I think we need to find better ways to show how things can be done instead.

Anyone else want to write or record a reflection about finding and participating on School Survival?

I know that for some, there are mixed feelings, because of various conflicts and drama at various points. But if we consider those who are stuck in school now, with years to go before they're released, as the world changes in 2015 and beyond, there's the question of what more we can do to provide an excellent experience for many of them. So, if you think about the benefits School Survival has had for you, and imagine what more those might be for others who are questioning school but not sure whether to dive into a community like this, maybe that could inspire some ideas for what we might do to change things.

Anyone else want to jump in?

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02-21-2015 12:43 PM
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