school · yearthirteen

I was in Year 7 six years ago WHAAATTT???

Note:This piece is for the TTTS Project stimuli of school…

Me when I realise that I was in Year Seven six years ago

In my role as head girI I get to talk and work with the younger students a lot more and a few months ago the whole of the head student team got to meet the new Year Sevens before they officially started at the school. Seeing all of them really excited and happy was so lovely,but also really really weird because:

1) They were all so excited and optimistic about secondary school (that ship sailed sooooo long ago, JUST KIDDING)

2)  I was in their position just 6 years ago.

I think most teenagers subconsciously cringe when any grown up says ‘when I was younger’ or ‘in my day so and so happened’ but seeing all the girls so happy about starting school, making new friends and starting a new experience was a really nostalgic moment.

One day I was the girl who ran to lessons and held the school map as I walked around (actually no, I was too cool for that, I just followed everyone else). I was the girl who worried  when I lost my planner or couldn’t find a classroom and I was the girl who got lost after school looking for my ruler and nearly started crying (boy, that was a low point).

Now we have started school, I can’t help but be completely endeared by the year sevens. They run to lessons, walk around with the school map, worry about losing their planners, but still remain happy and full of life.

I see the year sevens and I see myself (could I be any more corny……no) but honestly in every girl pacing up and down with a huge backpack unable to navigate the school or crying because she looked everywhere and can’t find her planner,pe kit, special pen (the list really does go on) I see myself. I see my naive, optimistic, bubbly year seven self, who has grown so much over the last six years.

I see the year sevens, and I want to just say (in an old American south voice (the only accent that truly suffices for wisdom filled advice) ) “baby girl, you are going to grow so much during the next six years. You are going to learn how to work hard FOR YOURSELF, the importance of being a good friend, how to deal with feeling alone and how to make the most of all opportunities presented to you. Above all this,  you are going to learn that you are beautiful, smart and fabulous and that it is 100% fine, and necessary, to love yourself”.

Being in Year 13 doesn’t make me perfect, or some sort of wisdom filled guru, but six years changes you a lot. All the things that seemed unbearable in year seven to eleven; work load, friendship issues, insecurities etc. cause you to grow so much as a person.

The saying goes, there’s beauty in the struggle, right? and this struggle is one that gets you invited to birthday parties, and where you learn and get involved in new, cool things, then at the end of it all you grow up to be more independent and self assured than you were at 11.

I still have a long way to go, in terms of being a BOSS YOUNG WOMAN, but I thank time for turning my goofy, planner losing, unable to read maps, year 7 self into a goofy, more organised (hmm) and confident young lady (lady-pwahahahaha)… young person, who appreciates the beauty in the struggle.
All in all the  school ‘struggle’, full of losing things and losing yourself, then finding everything again, turns out pretty beautiful in the end- trust me.
Keep Smiling 🙂
Itunu x

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