Life Of A Jamaican High School Student

Life of a Jamaican High School student 1The mental countdown of the school bell ringing can drive every student to insanity.

 Routine – routine – routine, day in and day out. Undoubtedly, we spend all our time at school; the institution where we are enrolled to receive a secondary education is where we dedicate our lives in hope of generating enough knowledge to better ourselves and the world.

But one thing all students across the country have in common is the thirst for knowledge and the final bell signaling the holidays.

Life of a Jamaican High School student 2So when you start your 1st year, you’re between the age of 10 and 12 and at this stage self-identity is formed and is most vulnerable to succumb to peer-pressure because for some reason not all students who are enrolled are ‘angelic’. Teachers, however, say that these students are the ‘babies’ of the school and since most have their halos in-tact,  these innocent, energetic children with sprightly steps and bags the size of boulders, they believe they are the ‘big people on campus’. (Photo Credit:

The first form of high school is  a stepping stone on which your social life is formed.  At this stage your are branded either anti-social, nerd, crazy, popular, weird, or in-between and the only way you can change your status is if you relax your hair, buy a phone, enter a relationship, or stand up to a  ‘popular’…..or win the lottery. First year is the only point where the zeal for academic pursuits is at maximum.

The second and third years are a blur to Jamaican high-schoolers because nothing significant happens. Students recall taking an examination and choosing their subjects at ninth grade (3rd year) then BAM! Tenth grade. Life of a Jamaican High School student 3

Your fourth year constitutes preparation for the dreaded CSEC examination in your fifth year as well as being the mini-big kids because the higher forms go off on study leave and you are left with responsibility.  However, if your social mark was not made, this is the last chance to do so, or negotiate with the sands of time.

By eleventh grade, formally the final year in high school, this stage in your life marks the end of your secondary school life. The first half of the year vanished and soon enough, pencils were sharpened to enter the CSEC exam. This level was solely about sweet sixteen and eighteens who you would take to the ball and graduation…and CSEC. This examination is the determinant of which tertiary educational institution you will enroll in.

Whether you have been studying your whole life or just the night before; all sitting this exam will determine the individuals selling bag-juice (bags of juice) from those individuals owning a business.

Life of a Jamaican High School student 4A student’s school life is never completed until they’re able to have many degrees on their walls. Although the level of education does not define a person, secondary education is a stepping stone for Jamaicans to impact the country positively. This is a level of education which teaches virtues that cannot be received anywhere else, both socially and academically.

By Alexandra Daley



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