Remember when you started school? What was the first thing every single teacher there told you until they were blue in the face from saying it and you had bypassed blue and gone straight to purple from hearing? “Do your homework”? “Respect yourself and others”? They all rank highly in the list but the first and foremost thing that was drilled into me & my peers was something along the lines of

Enjoy your time at school, it’ll be the best days of your life.

Everyone chuckled to themselves, some out loud in the direction of the person that uttered the immortal phrase. To a 13 year old, school is a demon that should be avoided, not slayed. It is a daily chore of mindless nonsense that must be repeated ad nauseam in order to regurgitate it back onto paper in the exam hall. Learn this, do this, don’t do that, don’t punch that, kick that. Rinse and repeat until you’re 18 years old.

Something tells me that the teachers were onto something. A 3 month long holiday disturbed only by a few weeks in the classroom and the odd test. Oh to be a full-time student. Take away the habitual bully encounters and other unpleasant artifacts and you have yourself the making of a pretty decent time to be alive. Romanticising it a bit perhaps, no doubt things will have changed even since I left school in the late 90’s. It’s only when I’m sitting in traffic, coming or going to work or home and seeing teenagers lolling around relaxing in the sunshine that I realise the teachers really do know their stuff. I’d rather have an amount of homework to do and to wear a uniform if it meant I could return to the subtle pleasures of being in school.

It might be boring now and you may get your ass kicked every day but try to enjoy it. If it helps, think ahead 15 years to when you have a decent job and take your own kids into a fast food restaurant to be served by whoever was kicking your ass. Karma or just more romanticism? I’d have no doubt that a few of the hard men I was in school with are either drug addicts, in jail or at least have criminal records by now. Yes indeed the nerd comes good and starts dumping on all the wankers. Not my intention, I shit you not.

If I could go back I gladly would. I’d return to transition year, no doubt the best (if not biggest waste of) time I’ve spent in school. Then in 5th and 6th year I’d study until it made me physically sick and come out with a bazillion points. Go go college, get a masters and be one of the underskilled overpaid masses of graduates out there.

Actually, scratch that. To any teenage readers I may have I’ll simply say enjoy the hell out of your years at school. Enjoy not paying bills, living at home and not having to work just to pay the government for stuff they’ve never done for you.

Oh, and don’t get any credit cards.