Friday, 7 October 2016


As I sat in bed this morning, looking around at the
familiar furniture and layout of the room, I was reminded
that this was the very same bedroom from which I emerged
each weekday to trudge along to school back in the 1970s.
The school no longer exists (the original building anyway),
so my room (and indeed house) are the last remaining
links to a long-vanished period of my youth.

And then it dawned on me that it wasn't quite so.
A few weeks before my family moved from this house
in 1983 (returning four years later), I had started going to
night school classes in my old secondary school.  You see,
I'd left the hallowed halls of Academia without sitting any
Highers, so decided to pursue Higher Art, English, and
History and increase my meagre qualifications.

I soon dropped out of art as I found it too boring,
and then had to choose between History and English as
they swapped English teachers on the night I attended that
particular subject a few weeks into the course.  To keep the
teacher I'd started with (who knew his stuff), I had to give
up History, as the two subjects were on the same night
and I couldn't attend both at the same time.

So, ten years after leaving school, I was back at the
very same one, trotting along every week from our new
house, though I'd begun the course while yet living in my
old one.  I eventually acquired my Higher English qualifica-
tion to add to my two O' levels (Art and English, the only
two I ever sat,) and had enjoyed the experience of re-
living my schooldays in the process.

But, to get to the point (finally), I now realize that
I regret having left school at 16, and wish I'd stayed on
for yet another year or two.  In that way, I would have re-
mained a 'schoolboy', and extended the period of my boy-
hood for just a little while longer.  After all, you can't really
consider yourself an 'adult' while still going to school,
can you?  Unless you're a teacher of course.

Some of my classmates stayed on after I left, and
I find myself envious if I hear them reminiscing about
their schooldays after I'd departed.  I was out in the work-
ing world, pretending to be an adult, while they continued
their existence as 'schoolkids', with all the attendant holi-
days and lack of financial responsibility that such a life
entailed.  Would I really do things any differently
though, if I had my time over again?

Maybe, maybe not, but it's strangely fascinating to
ponder how things might have been had I stayed on and
continued life as a schoolboy.  Would the duration of my
youth have seemed longer in retrospect, or would it have
made no difference in the long run?  Feel entirely free to
indulge my fanciful thoughts by adding your two
cents worth in the comments section.

  Or see me after school!   


Colin Jones said...

Kid, I stayed in school to do A Levels (what you call Highers) which felt like a natural continuation of my schooldays - I mean I still felt like a schoolboy. In some areas they have a 6th form college and that probably doesn't feel like being in school anymore but I'm glad that my school had a proper 6th Form. I have fond memories of my time in the 6th Form (beginning in September 1982) as I was only doing 3 subjects and there were lots of free periods when we didn't have to do anything - I can remember using those periods to read the novelization of "Return Of The Jedi" in 1983. And because I went to a small school of only 500 pupils all the 6th Formers were automatically made "Prefects" which meant we could jump the dinner queue and all the younger kids had to obey us. So f*ck the world of work - being a 6th Former was something I wouldn't have missed for anything :D

Kid said...

I console myself with the knowledge that I at least had more money to spend as a 'working man' than I did as a 'schoolboy', CJ, but - ah, but...

There's always a but, isn't there?

Paul McScotty Muir said...

I couldn't wait to leave school at 16 but my O level results weren't great as I thought I would join the Bank (I got 4 good O levels but wait for it I failed my Arithmetic arghh who fails that its adding up ... I got a D result?) So I went back to sit 3 highers ang get my arithmetic O leave.

Like Colin I had lots of free time as (I also dropped my Higher art - found it boring as well wasn't ito art history etc I just wanted to draw like Neal Adams lol - so I just "dogged" school a lot a went to "Johnnys" (that's a shop) to buy comics. I got my 2 remaining Highers and unbelievably I failed my arithmetic again however I do not and never have worked in the Banking profession (so don't worry) I wish I had gotten an office junior job at 16 instead of doing that final year as I think for that time, that would have been more beneficial to me rather than staying on at School. I was glad to leave school now I wish I could go back

Kid said...

I couldn't wait to leave either, and if I were back there I'd probably feel the same way. However, looking back many years later, I find myself wishing the opposite - that I'd stayed on. It's the old story, isn't it? We're never happy with what we have until we don't have it. You could always rob a couple of banks, PM - that would sort of put you in the 'banking profession', wouldn't it?

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