Why I never became a prefect in secondary school

When I was a kid, I hated being pushed around by these older teens in black uniforms with white shirts. These students were part of the sixth form, an optional phase of your student life which you can take at your pleasure. What did I hate about the sixth form 7 years ago? Only that they were pushing me and my peers around, telling us where we can and can’t go and what we can and can’t do.

Does this sound familiar? If it does, and you live in the UK, then it should, because in secondary school, every kid will experience the same thing. They get bossed around by the teachers and the sixth form, and they hate them all for it.

But then, the GCSE exams loom over them. Let’s flash back to when I’m 15, and deciding what to do after finishing my GSCE’s in 2010. I chose to go to the sixth form because I felt I wasn’t ready for college life at 16. At that point, I became one of the sixth form, the very people I hated as a kid.

This, of course, leads to another part of the cycle. You go from hating the establishment to serving it, and maybe actually liking it. The school gives anyone in the sixth form the right to:

  • Cut in the queue at lunch hour
  • Walk over to the nearby shop and go to town (so long as they come back for lessons)
  • Go places where you previously weren’t allowed
  • Treat kids like crap

There’s an ugly little word for that, and it’s called “elitism”. Why? They’re effectively placing the sixth form at a greater value than the kids, thereby treating the kids like serfs, something I’ve always hated. That is why, when the time came, I rejected the possibility of being a prefect, because I couldn’t reconcile being a prefect with my own principles.

I’ve always had the belief that kids shouldn’t be pushed around by “grown-ups” just because of their age, and I still do to this day, and I always will. It’s a classic principle of mine from childhood, and to become a prefect, I would have to abandon my principles, something I can’t do. Besides, I feel more like a rebel than a servant of the establishment.

I would have been hypocritical of me to be a prefect, and I doubt that any of my ideas to change the system would be implemented anyway. Besides, I was still fairly popular without being a prefect, and I feel I gained more respect on my own, than I would have as a prefect.

To conclude this post, what I did was not a courageous act. It was based entirely on my moral principles, and the desire to be myself. You can do it too. The moral of this story is to be yourself, no matter what anyone else says. Being myself feels good, so I believe that being yourself will feel good for you too.

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