“Your school days are the best times of your life, remember that!'”

My Mam always used to say that your school life will be the ‘best time of your life. Use it wisely. Enjoy it while you can.’ Although always pleasantly pleased with school, I remember sniggering at my ‘mountains of art work’ and shouting back ‘beth bynnag Mam.’ (that means whatever in my mother tongue)

Anyway, as I sit through what is my 18th year in some form of education, I can honestly sit my mother back down at the kitchen table with a cheeky cuppa and tell her she was completely right in saying so (for the most part anyway.)

With the final term of my second year as a BA honours student near enough complete, deadlines mounting from the ground and the concept of my final year at University lurking around the corner, I cannot help but scare myself with the idea of growing up and entering the ‘real world’ as they say.

I'm the one on the far left. Embarrassing I know.

I’m the one on the far left. Embarrassing I know.

Gone are the days where PE was the social and physical nightmare on a Friday afternoon, the size of your school tie and where you sat on the school bus determined your position in the social spectrum and non-school uniform days were like fashion shows that had gone extremely wrong.


Although bombarded with the death of my father on my first day, for the most part, I enjoyed school. Schooled in the heart of the Brecon Beacons National Park, I was surrounded by fields and the beauty of the Welsh countryside.


It makes me sad to know my school doesn’t even exist anymore.

Looking back it’s weird to think about how naive we all once were. I genuinely thought my friends from school would be my friends for life, yet a mere 5 years after leaving, I only speak to one friend from there.


But are they really the best years of our lives?

and how can you determine that? There’s the whole concept and pressure on making your teen years the best years of your lives.

Your teenage years are nothing like what you see in films.

How is this determined? Through wildness? I wasn’t a wild child. I spent my lunch times messing about with my friends and my school nights inside reading Jacqueline Wilson books. If not reading I was probably spending hours on the internet listening to Cute is What We Aim For.


How do we measure how great our teen days are?


We can’t. There is no success to our time on this planet. Yes you can gain success through the means of grades, promotion and capability. However our time on this planet is diverse. We’re each individually driven towards personal successes.

There isn’t a medal or a grade for growing up.


All I do know is that your successes don’t determine how successful your time was. I mean you’ve got the one guy that’s doing every extra subject under the sun, the next that thinks that’s the worst possible idea. That doesn’t determine your success. We all do what we want and do as well as we do and that’s okay.


The best years of our lives? Well we’ll never know. Growing up brings the inevitable joy of learning. Life is the biggest learning curve and learning activity that we engage in. Nothing in a book is going to teach you more than life itself.


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