At my age I am lucky to have even had the opportunity to live in a different country and a different state. I have some friends who have literally lived in the same house their whole life and have only travelled to Queensland twice- once to Sea world when they were like 4 and then again for Schoolies (of course my grounded ass didn’t get to attend).
As cool as moving may seem it heavily impacted my schooling both socially and mentally. I have attended a mix of 7 Public, Private and Charter schools. At 7, I was moved halfway across the world to Dallas, Texas in the US. Oh and before you even think about asking me ridiculous, bias questions – I will answer them for you:
- No, I didn’t ride a horse to school
- Yes, school is like the movies, although I only attended Elementary School there (decked out with a big ass cafeteria and all)
- And No, I’m not gonna say “Howdy” and attempt to talk in a Texan accent
I attended a Catholic Primary School in Sydney from Kindy to Year 2 and then made the big ass move to America as my Dad progressed his career. Due to my age I had to do an extra 6 months of Year 2 or 2nd Grade (March bday fml). American schooling times are super odd but I guess they make sense. You start school in August after “summer vacay” and end in May just before summer starts again. I went to a public Elementary School (Primary school) from year 2 until year 4. At only 7-years-old you’d like to think that I would be loving life with no school uniform but lol it’s me we are talking about so think again, it stressed me the fuck out. Like it actually wasn’t even cool so be grateful for uniforms and oh my god it was a struggle having a little baby bogan Australian accent mixed in with all the American kids, you bet I was always in trouble. I grew out of my Australian accent and was able to help my mum through the drive through window everywhere considering they never understood her (poor thing). All I can remember from that school is the huge cafeteria which you had a little lunch card and your mum would put money on it every month so you could get lunch daily (so innovative, get your shit together Australia), learning a bit of Spanish (knowing only the colours has literally been no help to me) and my FAV thing ever- I know all 50 US states and their capitals in alphabetical order. Biggest waste of brain space ever but it’s a great party trick (seriously, just ask me and I’ll sing you the song).
After 4th grade you move onto Intermediate school (Year 5 and 6, I then auditioned for a Charter school for Performing Arts in Forth Worth which was 45 minutes from where I lived (dancing was my whole entire life growing up, I’ll write another post about that in future). This fancy ass school had school uniforms (yay) with little knee high socks and high-waisted pleated skirts. I did archery for sport, had 2 periods a day of dance at only 10 years old as well as doing Music and Drama. I was a lil triple threat and I absolutely loved it! Some of my best memories ever were from this time in my life and I’m even still Facebook friends with nearly all my friends from this school. I believe that my talent in writing and love for English solely rests on being at this school. In maths we really only did long division all year 6 as well as basic multiplication, I struggle with Maths now due to this because like when the fuck does anyone ever use long division.
Considering American and Australian Schooling is so different when I moved back I had only just finished year 6 in the states and was put straight into Year 7, missing the first 6 months of the year. I had the option of doing the last 6 months of Year 6 again but I was worried I’d get roasted by the friends I went to Kindy with for being the year under them (I seriously regret not doing it now). Due to this change I was in deep shit when it came to missing my first 6 months of Year 7 maths and I am literally still shocking at it and will continue to complain about how shit I am forever. I also missed cooking subjects and I have no idea who the fuck to cook to this day (my poor bf). I went to a Public High School within the area. The school was just doing a switch from a Sports High to Performing Arts High (which is what attracted me to it). I was so nerdy when I moved with my little American accent which caused me to get heaps of shit at school but like whatever. I changed my accent yet again (I was a lil follower, I know this). Due to the nature of the school the teachers were so lenient and we were able to get away with so much shit which gave me more time to focus on the social aspects of school as every 14-year-old girl did. Despite literally learning fuck all, I made the most amazing friends ever and despite our busy lives 6 years later I still keep in touch with them.
Soon after beginning Year 9 my 6 hour move to Perth was well under way (a new job opportunity for my Dad yet again). PERTH WAS THE SHITTEST TIME OF MY LIFE. As most people know High school is hard in general but having to move in the middle of Year 9 just made it more of a social game for me when it came to trying to find new friends and fit in. I began attending a public middle school (Years 5-10) as well as trying to grow up and discover myself at the same time. The particular area in Perth was where all the English, Irish and Scottish migrated too and I’m not even kidding there was not an Australian accent in sight at school (except mine of course). It was a really strange experience to yet again feel like an outsider within my own country like I had once before when having an American accent. With that all happening what I actually learned at school was literally the biggest blur ever and contributed hugely to my lack of proper knowledge in Year 11 and 12 alongside my lack of care. Due to some rough Hannah Baker style bullying (promise you’ll read about that eventually, I’m only just getting started with this) I didn’t fully complete Year 9 and left in order to change schools for the beginning of Year 10.
Now moving onto my second last school (fucking finally), I attended a private, Catholic college with a beautiful view of the beach in Perth. Moving away from a toxic environment to a strict Catholic school where we had to wear our dresses below the knee, minimal make-up and hair pulled back with prayer daily was a bit of a culture shock but was hugely needed for the situation I was in during that time of my life. I had found my religion (again) and it allowed me to gain a sense of self. I had the opportunity to attend reconciliation which was one of the best experiences of my entire life. I’m not a real religious person btw, I believe in God and I was baptised Catholic (I also swear a shit load so like sorry God). I thoroughly enjoyed the sport at this school as well as the brand new dance facilities in which I topped the class (surprise, surprise). After finally finding myself and creating a good place again we got the call to move back to Sydney for the last time.
Half way through Year 10 I was placed in an all girls Catholic School which had the most amazing teachers I have ever experienced in my life. If you or your child gets distracted by boys an all girls school works wonders. Shit loads of drama and everyone are hormonal bitches at the exact same time but it’s truly a great learning environment. If I wasn’t trying to fit in and find real friends yet again I would have probably sailed smoothly those last 2 years of schooling but as you all know I was too invested in partying. I luckily had an amazing careers advisor who was my back bone throughout year 12 and I couldn’t have done it without him, thats for sure. From Teachers being my enemy to my best friend as I got older was one of the greatest life lessons I could have learned.
My life experience and ability to adapt to new environments quickly is due to having to integrate into different schools throughout my lifetime. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity but I would never do it to my kids nor would I want to do it again. I will probably struggle with maths for the rest of my life as the foundations differed from school to school leaving me with gaps in my learning. Thankfully I somehow survived that crazy 13 year rollercoaster and have come out the other side with an experience that little have ever been able to have at my age. I hear people complain that they have only been to one school ever but everything is not always as it may seem.