I moved to Cincinnati the summer before 7th grade. I learned very quickly that I would most likely be going to an all-girls Catholic High School. That was the “thing” there. It was in that moment I figured out we had actually moved to Hell.
All girls? Let’s be honest, half of the reason I enjoyed going to school was because of social hour and the boys and working on my bubble letters. It certainly wasn’t the homework. I’m fairly certain no one is skipping to the bus because of that. I felt like I was being forced to walk the plank. We never had cable growing up, my parents wouldn’t buy me a pager, and I was not allowed to watch 90210-was that not torture enough? I felt like I was the unluckiest girl who moved to a terrible town where things were abnormal and un-American. I obviously had a jaded idea of the definition of patriotism at the time. I just knew the majority of kids my age were headed to normal high schools while I wasn’t and in my delicate state of adolescent emotion laced with the absolute need to be like all the cool kids, I found that to be treasonous. So yeah, there are all-girl schools and Benedict Arnold.
Girls. (Sigh) I don’t know if anyone knows this but girls between the ages of 12 and 16 in groups larger than two can be the most terrifying collection of people in history. They are learning about their insecurities and trying to become comfortable with their bodies and are pretty much catatonic cliquey walking jack-in-the-boxes. It’s a bunch of people trying to fit in all at the same time when no one really even knows who they are themselves yet. And this is before social media, so I can’t even imagine the friending and unfriending that happens on the hourly now. So, yeah, let’s put them all in a building together. What could possibly go wrong?!
Well, I am pleased to inform you it wasn’t nearly the Nightmare on Elm Street I had envisioned. Maybe a little more similar to The Craft. Kidding. Sort of. I mean, there were uniforms and covens of sorts. But lo and behold I made it. It was all girls all the time minus the added drama of boys. And, yes, of course there was drama from time to time. I’d be lying if I didn’t tell you there were a few “meet me (not ME) in the parking lot after school” showdowns but for the most part, brace yourself, we simply co-existed. (Gasp) And if you wanna discuss high school pride, you should see the power of estrogen that gathers as a single force in the bleachers at a volleyball match (my high school had and has a knack for volleyball state championships). It’s utterly potent. No marching band necessary.
Uniforms. Let’s discuss. There is nothing Baby One More Time, Gossip Girl, or Alicia Silverstone/Liv Tyler sexy about it. I went to school in my pajamas and threw my skirt and collared shirt over it which were always kept in my locker. It was the antithesis of sexy. So much so, it begs me to wonder how the school girl fantasy became such a phenomenon. I imagine it wasn’t far behind the underwear clad pillow fights. I hate to break it to you fellas, but that’s not a thing. Being sexy wasn’t really something we knew much about and if you disagree, there’s this:
Yeah. That happened. That’s real life and our real uniforms. There is a 95% chance I just lost two friends. Forgive me, but I had to make a point.
I’m pretty sure if boys would have been intermixed during the daily grind, I would have come out a different person and I’m actually quite happy with how I turned out. I found some of my best friends and myself. I’d call that a win. Bottom line is something I was dreading turned out to be a major highlight in my life. One I wouldn’t change for the world and am proud of.
So I say trust the adventure and try not to be so pessimistic. Instead of seeing something different as being negative, punishment, or wrong we need to flip the switch and find the adventure, positives, and unique opportunity in it. Yes, it could be the worst, but what if it’s not? Wait for proof before assuming so and don’t take anyone else’s word for it. Yes, that’s a direct stab at Yelp. I mean, obviously if someone you know gives you a first hand account of crazy, assess the source and proceed accordingly. Again I say, ASSESS THE SOURCE.
If nothing else, just have an open mind and brace yourself for the unknown. Routine is boring. Care about yourself enough to have open arms in life. Just try. Remember that ordinary is landslides from extraordinary. Create your own unique and undeniable truth. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing. I promise you’ll be a better person for it. I could think of worse results.