ESS Podcast Episode 002

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Episode 2: Axel, high school dropout now free learner from Bulgaria

Axel is a 23 year old free learner who dropped form high school at 17. He shares his thoughts of his own experience on both sides, the compulsory school and free learning.


School Rebellion

  • Urge to do something to show I don't want to be at school.
  • Feeling fear at the beginning
  • Notorious repetition of acts of rebellion -> teachers expected rebellion -> lessened the fear consequences to disobey authority.
  • Key factor: reacting to the first rebellious student, emerging as leader, gave him a courage to start rebelling at school. Axel wouldn't started rebellion if nobody started in his class/environment.
  • Many of classmates kept fearing the consequences.
  • The home environment also plays a role.
  • At that time they were not aware that was an act of rebellion. Instinctive reaction of the coercion.
  • Way of rebellion: open math book in history class.
  • The only good memories of school could actually happened at any place: hanging around with friends, making jokes, etc.


  • We follow our learn drive without knowing we have a learn drive. Just like a child uses metaphors without knowing the concept of what a metaphor is.
  • School was interfering with his learning. Axel wanted to learn programming.
  • He was cutting his sleep in order to have some more time to study what he liked. School was taking too much of his time.
  • He lied to his parents, as he knew they were reluctant to let him drop out of high school. He wanted to decrease their perception of risk of the uncertain consequences (success in life).
  • Parental advise is often fear driven.
  • Parents want good for their kids, their ignorance and
  • Social pressure to get a high school diploma to get a well paid job.


  • His parents now are less worried as they see him healthy and not wasting his time.
  • Axel made some life choices to spend more time free learning, exploring his areas of interest.