Sunday, 28 February 2016

现实 | Limbo

Posted by: Ryan O'Riordan

To hear some of the assemblies I have been subjected to in this, my final year of school, you would think we as a group have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses, or were stepping into a spaceship for a mission to the uncharted recesses of the galaxy, instead of simply leaving.

The overriding theme is our 'legacy'. In fact, in the little notebook we're given to write down homework and stuff, I am told that my year's task is to create a "legacy for all", with duties as exciting and essential as:

  • Ensuring the "transfer" of the School Council!
  • Continuing to "set tone and standards over uniform and behaviour"!!
  • Leading "elements" of the school's pastoral programme!!!

(If there's one aspect of life in a British secondary school The Inbetweeners didn't quite nail, it's definitely the love of duty for duty's sake to be found in any healthy teenager)

Needless to say, I have never seen a single one of my peers show any kind of commitment to these tasks, which is exactly as it should be! Who cares about leaving a legacy at your secondary school? I may not have access to the classical deathbed when my time comes, but I can promise you now, whether or not the years below me at school took my passionate PowerPoint presentations to heart will not feature in any pre-mortem reflections.

To me, this focus on legacy-building and such seems like an attempt to alleviate the sense of limbo pervading the final year at school. By now, most of the people who want to go to university will have got offers back from wherever they want to go, and those who don't want to go to uni (at least those I know) have already got alternative plans in place. With such exciting times on the horizon for everyone, it's no surprise that the spark has gone out of the whole school experience somewhat. When referring to teachers by their first names during a conversation with a friend becomes routine, instead of a tiny act of rebellion, it's a sure sign that the ride is coming to an end.

For many in my year, I think, school has become primarily the place you have to go in order to get the exam results you want. I mean, yeah, it was always supposed to be that, but now it really is. For the (lucky) few who have managed to get unconditional offers to their university of choice, exam results don't matter any more, leading more than a few of my friends to question why someone with an unconditional would bother to go to school at all.

So there we are each day, in a kind of limbo between school and the next step, whatever it may be. If it were up to me, I'd recognise the reality of how people approach their last year of school, because no one actually cares about securing a legacy for themselves. They care about making their last few months with friends they may never see again as memorable as possible.

Ryan's listening to: 'Ode to Viceroy' by Mac DeMarco


Read my previous post here.

No comments:

Post a Comment