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  • Katherine Farr

The Lasting Impact of Schooling

My anxiety has been really bad lately, due to a combination of my mom going through cancer recently and COVID-19. Because of this, I haven’t been able to accomplish as much as my perfectionist brain expects from myself. My lingering self-hate convinced me that this meant I really am broken as the conventional school system claimed. I thought that I was lazy and immature for struggling with my part-time job and the goals I’ve set up for myself. Last week, this self-hate led me to attempt suicide. I’m doing somewhat better now, but I’m having to constantly remind myself that what I can do is enough.


I thought that I shouldn’t have these problems anymore. After all, I’m an unschooler now. But unschooling didn’t take away all the emotional pain from my experiences with bullies, grades, and homework. Unschooling helped me a lot, but I never fully recovered. Some of the anxiety and self-hate from the struggles I experienced in conventional school remains to this day. These long-term effects aren’t something I’d wish on anyone, even those who bullied me in middle school.


While I work on my mental health, I might post less often. For now, I’d like to remind everyone of the lasting impact conventional schooling can have on all of us. Please, take care of yourself. You matter.

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