I am an introvert. That means I recharge my batteries my being alone. Crowds exhaust me and make me irritable (more than once I have told women I'm with in shopping malls, "We have to leave right now"), and it means I am imaginative (a "daydreamer").
And when I say right now I mean right now. I am overwhelmed by the lights and noise and motion of the people. It is physically painful for me.
So you can imagine how good of a fit I was in public school. The same bad fit applies to all introverts in public school.
I consider public schools to be a weird combination of minimum-security prison and daycare center. It's also about as close to the military as you will find outside the military. The march/sit/march structure bored me to the point I did little but daydream and do the minimum amount of homework.
I had a lot more fun, and learned a lot more, by wandering around alone on weekends and looking at tadpoles and then checking out books on frogs at the library. I remember what I learned on my own vividly but about the only thing I remember from public schools is learning readin', writin' and arithmetic. I could have dropped out in fourth grade for all the good school did me after that.
Being an introvert doesn't mean I'm unsociable or don't have friends or don't like to go out. I could have been a stand-up comedian or magician. But I have to be alone to charge my batteries. Extroverts gain energy from other people, which is why I refer to the dumb ones (which is most of them) as the Herd/Ants/Sheeple/Borg.
Introverts validate from within; extroverts from without. That's why introverts are the ones who came up with the words "freedom" and "liberty" and why so many extroverts don't really know what they mean and believe the government is Mommy and Daddy and is supposed to take care of their dumbass immature selves.
As weird as it sounds, I felt lonely and cut off in public schools. Now on the weekends and after school I didn't. So for those who say public schools are for "socialization," then why did it not work on me? Why does it not work on any introvert?
It's because we're not allowed to be what we are. School is ideally supposed to identify your talents and develop them. It doesn't do that bad of a job for low-IQ extroverts, i.e. athletes (because extroverts make up 80% of the population), but it does a horrible job on introverts.
To be happy you have to have meaning and community. To me school didn't have any meaning at all. It was without purpose to me. And the community was the ones I created with my friends. The fake community of "school spirit" didn't do anything for me, or my friends, for that matter.
For me school was close to solitary confinement. And that is why is some ways I acted out. In middle school, for example, I was a class clown. It alleviated the boredom and meaningless, as did the daydreaming. The partying and drugs and booze on the weekends was great help, too.
Were I in high school today I know exactly what I would be - a computer-programming, game-playing, pot-smoking, science-fiction-reading weekend-partying hippie-nerd. One with a streak of humor sometimes vicious and sometimes punny. In other words, the kind that created the computer revolution.
Extroverts do not understand introverts because of their low-to-moderate IQs and their lack of imagination (which means they lack empathy, i.e., the ability to put themselves in someone else's place). Introverts understand extroverts because they are smarter and more imaginative. I use a saying of a friend of mine: the smarter understand the stupid a lot more than the stupid understand the smart. Or: introverts understand extroverts a lot better than extroverts understand introverts.
What's probably the most dangerous thing of all is that extroverts, being 80% of the population and lacking smarts and empathy, unwittingly try to destroy introverts under the guise of "helping them."
Clearly, introverts and extroverts speak different languages. Sometimes I think they're almost different species.