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Aestheticist
Butterfly
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Joined: 5 Aug 2008
Age: 28
Gender: Female
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Location: Birmingham

07 Jul 2009, 4:35 am

I have been accepted into a very good school which has a very good reputation in pretty much everything it does. It is a grammar school called King Edwards in England and it also has a good reputation in dealing with people who are autistic. At the moment I go to an all girls catholic school which is a problem because I don't identify with being female (although I am biologically) and I am not religious. However over the past five years, I have settled in here and made good friends, many in just the past two years. I know that it takes me a long time to settle in anywhere and after visiting King Edwards for two induction days, for the next week I struggled with extreme dissociative behaviour. I will only be at King Edwars for two years and these will be the people who I am around when applying for university. I know university will be a big change, however if I stay at the school that I currently attend I think I will get better support from the people that I know. Also in King Edwards, there is an attitude that university and your own future are the most important things and school life there is geared towards this. For example doing charity work to improve your chances of getting into a good university. I think this is terrible and very much the wrong reason for doing charity work. There is an underlying selfishness here that makes me feel uncomfortable. At my current school people seem like they are more genuine and though that may be because of the religious values they are brought up with, so in a way perhaps selfish in doing things to get into heaven or something, however I prefer this to the business minded values that are apparent at King Edwards.
I am very confused about what I should do. I know that going to King Edwards would increase my chance of getting into a good university but that elitist attitude upsets me. It seems that institutions such as these enforce values which I don't want to be apart of and further the gap between the social classes. My mom wants me to go to King Edwards because of the oppotunities it offers but I know that I wouldn't feel comfortable with the business approach to studying and living there. I already feel like all I know is school and that I don't know how to do anything else and lack motivation for it as it is not naturally in me and I haven't ever really been encouraged to think of other things as I am good at school. I am clever and well behaved I guess so I have never been offered help apart from during extreme dissociative periods.
I just feel very sad and confused can you offer any advice on what to do.
Sorry about that rant.



suburban-robot
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07 Jul 2009, 6:29 am

I knew a few people who were at King Edwards Sixth Form (Essex? Hoping it's the same one). Aside from the school itself, the students I knew were all friendly welcoming people and seemed to have a lot of fun studying there. I would say do what is best for you



DonkeyBuster
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07 Jul 2009, 10:59 am

I'm from the US, so not familiar with the schools, so can't help in those terms.

But as to the apparent attitude of the two schools... although there may be a strong bias towards the avericious business approach to university, I'll bet there are other students at King Edwards that share your take, and actually engage in kind actions because that's how the actually feel, rather than just glossing up their CV.

If the friendships and connections you form at King Edwards will be likely to continue at university, and knowing how difficult it is to settle in to a new environment and social scene, it might be a strong advantage to going to King Edwards. You will be able to start university with at least a few familiar faces about.

Perhaps if you voice your concern about the self-centered orientation of many of the students, someone at King Edwards can help direct you towards the folks who are not.

In general, I prefer to hang out with folks who have some sort of moderate spiritual practice for just the reasons you mention. I've found Buddhists to be compatible with my understanding of how things work. Are there any student religious or spiritual student groups at King Edwards that might have that potential for you?

On the other hand, it's sometimes in our best interest to stay in a less stressful environment; we are better able to show our talents. Do you think that there are the same opportunities for your personal intellectual growth at your current school? Does it have the support for autism that the other does... that's going to be important as you live the transition from child to adult (aka the teen years). Learning independent coping mechanisms, targeted coaching in social and study skills, time management, independent living will be vital to your future success in navigating adulthood.

I apologize if any of this is absurdly ignorant or insulting. I've never quite been able to wrap my head around the British school system. :? I'm just trying to think what I would have benefitted from as a teen moving into college and adulthood.