First Day of High School
First Day of High SchoolBy: Young PersonThe right way to wear a school hatMy primary education was done through distance Ed, which meant I didn't often come into contact with large groups of people my age. Not having a peer group my age also meant that I never had to do things to conform, and I grew up doing things the way I wanted, for myself. I suppose I was very naïve when I started high school. On the first day I hadn't realised there was a right way to wear a school hat, or that bananas weren't in fashion any more, you had to eat passion fruit - daaaaarling! In fact, on that first day I did a lot of things wrong - like being the only person in the school who had a tongue ring. That one piece of jewellery labelled me a troublemaker, and by first break I was given life membership to the 'out' crowd. So I obligingly tucked my hair into my hat, took out the tongue ring and pretended I was as hip to the jive as the rest of my class. It seemed more important to be like other people than finding out what it meant to be me. And soon I became this total misery, I spent all my energy trying to conform and get it all right. I couldn't work out why I was so unhappy when I'd achieved what I thought I wanted. After many tears and sleepless nights my mentor took me aside and asked why I was upset. I told him that I couldn't work it because now that I fitted in at school, I had become miserable. He nodded in understanding and asked me why I had my tongue pierced. I told him that I did it because I liked the feel of having it, and the way it looked, and it made a cool noise when you flicked it against a microphone. Then he asked why I cut my hair off, and I told him that I wanted the same kind of hair the other girls had. "You see", he said. "You've started doing things to please other people and the person underneath the haircut and the jewellery has been forgotten. If you don't do it for yourself you're always going to feel a bit starved. I say that if the people at school don't like you for you, then it's their problem. They miss out - not you". And what he said rang true. I started trying to do things for myself, I realised that tucking your hair into your school hat may look cool, but it's actually bloody uncomfortable, so I stopped. And the week after I put the ring back in my tongue and when I started doing things for myself again I felt a whole lot better.
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