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17 milestones in every Irish primary school career

So many school tours, so little time.

IT’S BACK TO school time. DOOM!

We’ve all been there…

Age 4: Inexplicably and suddenly forced to wear a tie. Out of nowhere. Like a tiny adult. Also stiff black shoes at least one size too big, like flippers.

Min gets her feet measured Source: jaygooby

Age 5: Struggle to comprehend why all the marla is brown and stuck together. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE ANIMALS? Sit across from a boy who constantly has snots on his upper lip. Think about him regularly for the next 60-70 years of your life.

mala Source: Shutterstock.com

Age five and a bit: Finally and unconsciously find your peace with the smell of sour milk, widdle, old yoghurt tops and chalk that now inhabits your soul.

Age five and three quarters: Wonder if teachers go to a special place to learn how to write so beautifully and roundly on the board. Decide you want to be a blackboard writer when you grow up.

chalk bored Source: Licklefluffyclouds

Age 6: Get teased for whatever lunch your parents are punishing you with this term. Something smelly like peanut butter sandwiches or a flask of oxtail soup. Become incandescent with rage that your mother won’t just buy Billy Roll LIKE EVERYONE ELSE’S MAM. GOD.

Age 6 and a bit: Be introduced to the concept of Christmas annuals for the first time. Know that somehow life will never be the same again. Long for the days when the teacher says you can do the colouring pages and the join the dots, not just the boring word searches.

sian Source: Folens

Age 7: Sing Zacchaeus for the first time. Proceed to sing Zacchaeus ad nauseum for 4-5 months until your mother threatens to abandon you in a Quinnsworth carpark.


Age 8 and a half: Having not yet learned the crushing emotion known as dread, look forward to going back to school after Christmas so you can brag about what you got. Find it difficult to choose what to bring in to show off though (Gameboy/amazing Pog selection/cassette player WITH A RECORD BUTTON).

Pogs Source: Burkazoid

Age 9: Develop your first ever crush on a school teacher. Believe deeply that you will marry him/her but it all comes crashing down around you when they mention a ‘husband’ or ‘girlfriend’. Cry hot angry tears in the bathroom. Plot some kind of crime. Quickly forget about it when new Christmas annual is produced.

Age 10: Have near nervous breakdown over long division. Viciously doodle on your Busy and Maths. Things like: ‘I HATE MATHS’, ‘MATHS IS CRAP’.

busy Source: TheJournal.ie

Age 10 and a half: Sing ‘Everywhere we go/EVERYWHERE WE GO’ and attempt to get truck drivers to beep their horns for 75 minutes on the school tour bus. Teacher eventually asks everyone to pipe down so the driver can concentrate. Driver looks pale and considers a liquid lunch.

Don't Make Them Ill Source: markhealey

Age 11: Become inexplicably cool for 4 months. Be the object of all chasing games in the yard. Be seen ‘smoking*’ a cigarette behind the local shop, thus increasing ‘hard’ and ‘cool’ status. Sit down the back on any school related bus journeys.

*choking, wishing you were dead

Age 11 and a bit: Lose cool credentials when new girl from Clondalkin joins the class. She has wheely runners. You’re done.

Age 12: Feel like the oldest person alive; ruler of the school. Spend your summer on a bike, but fail to appreciate it as one of the most carefree times of your life.

Ortigia Kid Source: Sebastiano Pitruzzello (aka gorillaradio)

Age 12 and a half: Suddenly realise that it’s all about to come crashing down around your ears as another uniform rears its ugly head, and another pair of stiff shoes, ready to transform you into a slightly less tiny version of an adult.

Age 13: Enter secondary school and become immediately immersed in a culture of fear regarding the purchasing off and maintaining ownership of past exam papers. Long for the boy with the snotty lip.

32 milestones in every Irish person’s life>

About the author:

Emer McLysaght

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