Monday, 30 May 2016

Reflections on leaving school... | LittleEllieMae


I started high school in 2009. I left a relatively small primary school to a grammar school, swarmed with unrecognisable faces in a sea of brown uniforms. Being the top school in the city and having a grammar school status, all of the students were very bright so I initially found it difficult to adjust from being the top of the class in everything, to being just as good as everyone else- "average" if you will. 

I went into high school as a very timid, shy young girl. I'd never really been pushed out of my comfort zone before so the step up to secondary school was a big one for me. 

Funnily enough I remember my first day at DHSG very well, albeit it being a long seven years ago now (time flies)! I remember sitting at the front of the hall for the first assembly, turning around and feeling massively overwhelmed at the backdrop of faces staring back. I used to look up at the balcony seats, being totally scared of the big Year 13 students who I thought were so mature and cool. 

I had adopted a couple friends who sat next to me in class but one memory that I will never ever forget is walking down 'Quality Street' (the nickname of a corridor in our school as it was the first with carpet...) and turning around to smile at a small, curly- haired girl with a colourful bandanna to ask if she wanted to have lunch with us on the field that day. She said yes, we played 'tag' all lunch time and literally stayed friends ever since- that would be my best friend in the whole world, Becca Jane. That's one of the main reasons why I've loved secondary school so so much- its provided me with the best group of friends I could ever ask for. 


I settled into school relatively quickly. Though my teachers continued to call me "quiet" in lessons, I began to excel in the social side of things. I made loads of friends and really began to come out of my shell. 

At the time the workload seemed a burden. Those pesky textiles collages and geography map drawings caused just as many sleepless nights as my A-Level exams do in present day. I would like to say to my former self to not worry about that kind of thing at all but I know that at the time it was important to me, and of course it shaped me as the hard working woman I am today. 

When I tell people that my school was an all-girls school, the automatic response is "oh my gosh, how did you cope?!" but it honestly didn't really affect me. If anything, it was a massive positive as it has taught me the importance of feminism, working alongside other girls to empower each other. Even our school song reflects that. It was overall a really positive and liberating place to be.

The obvious factor of school is the classes. I have studied a massive range of different subjects over the years, from English to Spanish, French, Latin, Textiles and even Critical Thinking(?!). Being a grammar school, we took a lot more GCSE subjects than other schools which could be seen as a complete burden (which I admit, it really was at the time. Taking 20+ exams was very difficult... but it all paid off!) but it also allowed me to experiment with different topics. I love learning, I really do- so being able to enrich my brain with so much 'stuff' is something I will treasure forever. To be plain, I am a top- grade student which is something I am really proud of but its because of the school's classes that I am engaged in topics and therefore do well. 

I guess what I'm trying to express here is just how much high school has shaped me as a person. I feel like a completely different person to the shy girl who cried at everything, seven years ago. I'm now confident, ambitious, determined and I really think its my experience at school that's been the catalyst for my personal development. Never in a million years would 11 year old me think I could be setting up my own business, creating a name for myself, putting myself out there. I'm really really happy. 

10 Things School Has Taught Me:

1.) Stand for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.
2.) Be kind to everyone you meet as everyone is fighting their own battle.
3.) Work hard, it will pay off in the end.
4.) Give yourself a break and treat yourself now and again. You deserve it.
5.) Try and make every situation fun. Humour goes a long way.
6.) Don't compare yourself to others. Focus on you. 
7.) Be ambitious and don't give up on that dream.
8.) Karma is real, so use it wisely. 
9.) Knowledge is the greatest quality to have. Enrich yourself in every way possible.
10.) Brown uniform will NEVER look good, quit trying to look stylish in school.




My last day at school was on Friday (27th May 2016) and it was an emotional one. For the past few years, we've all been waiting for the moment we leave those shiny school gates but when the moment arrived we all stood stone-cold.

"We're not ready to leave yet. I swear I'm still 12. How am I leaving to go into adulthood?"

We had the perfect last day of Leavers '16 celebrations, full of pranks, water fights, crying, nostalgic memories, laughs and more crying. Then lots of drinks and dancing at the after- party. My year group are just the most wonderful group of people ever- hilarious, kind, strong and united. The perfect community that I will miss dearly but I wish every individual luck for their futures as I know they all have amazing things ahead of them.




Its scary how quickly time passes. The past seven years have been a blur, but a blur of very happy memories. On Friday we had two assemblies where we all shared our fondest moments at DHSG. The montage (set to High School Musical music) of photos from across the years made me weep. Teachers presented us with farewell videos and every single pupil was given a hand-written good luck card from the staff. I'm going to miss the buildings, the staff, the lessons, the friends, the sports days, the assemblies, Marmalade the school cat. Its very very difficult to say goodbye to this wonderful place but I know its where I can always come home. It will always be a building of wonderful memories and sense of belonging. Though I cannot wait for the next exciting chapter of my life, I will miss everything about it and I'm so glad I can look back on it all with a smile. 

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."- Winnie The Pooh. 


Thanks DHSG x


8 comments:

  1. Congrats! I am graduating high school in a few days ^_^

    Laila from Townhouse Palette

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    1. Thank you! Good luck to you too x

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  2. I love this post! Reminded me of those feelings 12 years on! Good luck in the world after school, hold on tight to those friendships because you will come back to some of them later even if you drift apart for a while. My school friend was my bridesmaid even though we lost contact during uni we are close as ever again! I'm sure you have lots of fantastic times ahead. Tilly at Mummy Rules x

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    1. Thanks so much Tilly, I'm glad you enjoyed this post as much as I enjoyed writing it! I will 100% hold on to my amazing friends x

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  3. Ahh this is sweet, leaving school feels like such a long time ago, then I went to a different sixth form and on to uni as well. Graduate life is hard work, but I do not miss taking 14 GCSEs and 5 A Levels one bit! I'm also jealous you were allowed to wear short skirts and converse to school - ours had to be below the knee and black smart shoes! All endings are sad, but they lead to an exciting new beginning so for that you should look forward to the future! Alice xxx

    www.woodenwindowsills.co.uk

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    1. Thank you Alice!! I'm excited for my future. We aren't allowed to wear short skirts and converse haha its usually very strict- we haven't worn uniform for two years whilst in Sixth Form but its tradition to wear it again on the last day 'St Trinians' style! hehe xx

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  4. Enjoyed reading this, my daughter starts DHSG in September & I hope she has the time of her life like you did.

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    1. I'm glad you enjoyed my post Jason! I hope your daughter has the most wonderful time :)

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