Lies they told me in school.

This one goes out to the kids who need to hear it, and the adults who lived it. They know who they are.

  1. “In the real world, you sometimes have to do things you don’t want to do.” – Not true unless armed people are involved. In the “real world,” near everything is a cost-benefit analysis, and you might do stuff you don’t like to do because you do like the payoff. This is different from being forced to do stuff you don’t want to do because it’s not worth it to you. That, you don’t have to do, and anyone who tells you otherwise is just trying to bully you into compliance.
  2. “You’ll need to know how to write when you get older.” – True in the sense that you’ll need to know how to fill out forms, etc. Not true in the sense that your teacher is trying to make you believe – that handwriting has to be legible, or that you need the 5-paragraph essay (unless your job requires it). More jobs don’t require legible handwriting and a 5-paragraph essay than do – I get a lot of use out of essay structure, but none out of handwriting. Others I know get some use out of handwriting, but none out of essay structure. No adult I know handwrites 5-paragraph essays ever. Doesn’t mean that jobs that require both don’t exist, but does mean that jobs that require both are a hell of a lot less common than jobs that will let you compensate for stuff that gives you trouble.
  3. “Doing [insert pointless make-work here] will teach you discipline and diligence.” No, doing pointless make-work teaches you compliance. Working hard on something you care about to produce something at a high standard will teach you discipline and diligence.
  4. “You need a thicker skin. In the real world, nobody will protect you from bullies.” In the real world, you’re usually not forced to spend most of your day around bullies. In the real world, you get to choose who you spend time around. In the real world, if people deluge you on a daily basis with insults and threats and just won’t leave you alone, it’s called “harassment” and sometimes “uttering threats” and if it’s bad enough, you can press charges. In the real world, decent friends don’t let others bully you. In the real world, when people beat the crap out of you, it’s called “assault” and you can press charges. In the real world, a gang assaulting a smaller person is not brushed off as “just kids being kids.” In the real world, reasonable people will not expect you to be comfortable with and civil to those who have assaulted you.
  5. “You need to work past it. In the real world, you won’t be given special consideration.” In the real world, you often won’t need “special consideration” because many bosses don’t care how you get the work done as long as it’s done and up to standard so you’re free to self-accommodate as needed. Where that fails, in the real world, disability rights are a thing and you can force the issue. It may not make you friends and you may get backlash, but in the real world, just as in school, you have rights. Teachers who say this are just looking to make excuses for their own laziness.

2 thoughts on “Lies they told me in school.

  1. notesoncrazy says:


    Last night my boyfriend and I realized another big lie is “Complaining never helped anything.”

    Um, of course it does! That’s why people do it! True, life’s not fair, but what exactly is wrong with complaining about how life isn’t fair? You’re not hurting anyone with it, and you’re getting yourself emotionally psyched up to deal with the situation. It gives you the chance to identify why you don’t like something and find a way to self-accomodate (woo!) and keep pushing through! Plus, sometimes you don’t like things or think things are fair and other people don’t realize that’s how you see things. If you point it out, people might work with you on it! I think this goes back to your #1, where adults don’t have to do things they don’t want to do, but sometimes choose to do things they would maybe prefer not to do because they decide it’s worth it. Just because it’s worth doing doesn’t mean complaining won’t help make it a little easier.


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