In order to cope with the day-to-day reality of school, you need to:
- feel at home in your school
- get on with other pupils and your teachers
- manage your schoolwork
- make the right choices when you get the chance.
Feeling at home in your school
There aren’t many girls who love every moment of their school days. Although some people say their school days were the happiest days of their life, many have far less happy memories. Don’t worry if you sometimes, or even often, feel a bit down or a bit bored, or spend the odd day thinking you don’t particularly like people in your class; this is absolutely normal and your education and happiness won’t generally suffer.
But your education and happiness will suffer if you are always miserable or feel that you don’t fit in at all. If this is the case for you, you need to speak to your parent or carer. Depending on the problem, your school and their circumstances, they may be able to:
- agree changes with the school what will make you happier (for example, change your class, or lessons, or make special arrangements for you at break time)
- get you moved to a new school where you might be happier; or even
- educate you themselves at home.
Sometimes a simple change can make all the difference; sometimes things are much more complicated. Don’t expect miracles and do your best to work with parents, carers, teachers and others to find a solution.
Your parents/carers may find useful support and information from:
- Ace Education (advice and information on state-funded education 5-16 years in England)
- Parentzone Scotland (part of the Scottish Government website, with information about education in Scotland)
- Education Otherwise, Home Education Advisory Service, Schoolhouse (advice on home education)
Getting on with other pupils and your teachers
You won’t like all the other pupils in your school and you won’t like all the teachers. Nor will all the teachers and other pupils like you. This is normal and perfectly fine. The world will be full of people you don’t particularly like and you just have to find a way of coping with them. You can find out more about relationships with teachers here and with friends (and non-friends) here.
But if you don’t like anyone else in your school, or if you are constantly made miserable by other pupils or teachers, you will not feel at home in your school and you need to speak to someone – see above.
Managing your schoolwork
Being on top of your schoolwork, inside and outside school, will make your school life much easier and happier. See our practical advice here.
Try not to worry too much about lessons or exams. You will not always find lessons easy, and you may worry that you will fail at exams and ruin your life or disappoint your teachers or parents. Everybody who has ever been in any school has felt stupid or useless at some point, and everybody worries about failure. See our page on what help and support you can get with lessons and exams.
Making the right choices
At some point when you are 13 or 14 you will choose which exams you are going to take when you are 16. These will give you nationally recognised qualifications and will help to shape your future education and career. Your school will help you make these important decisions, but we have some advice here.