I've lost count of how many times I wished that I was older or that the people at school would act their age. I'm in the second last year of school, I have been there for four years what ever way you want to look at it. I remember the first day of secondary school. I was so nervous but excited at the same time, I had gotten my hopes up that I would meet someone kind and friendly, willing to spend my first break with me. I couldn't stop smiling, a surprise to my bus driver Noreen.
I came from a very old-fashioned household. None of us had a smart phone until my mum decided that I should have one, just in case you never know what happens... I thought myself how to use the basics (saving contacts etc.) never even had I heard of Instagram or Snapchat. On the bus my greatest fear came true, once I had got on the bus it started moving before I had found a seat. I almost fell, swaying from one side to the other desperately looking for somewhere to sit. People laughed and giggled at me saying “there we go again another little first year.” Up until then I had not been a very social person and I was defnitely not very updated. Some guy walked up to me and sat beside me. A nice gesture I thought but I didn't know what to say. He had a sly smirk on his face. “Do you want to shift?” he asked, looking back at his friends and laughing taking deep breaths in between making donkey like sounds. I didn't have a clue what he was talking about I had never heard that word but it sounded horrible! “No” I replied trying not to be rude. I stared out the window trying to avoid looking at his spotty face. Thankfully he got the message and walked back to his friends.
Having arrived at school I was showed around first of all, everything seemed fine until I noticed that everyone was on their phones all the time, taking pictures of everything but mainly themselves.. I really didn't understand what they were doing, how was their phone so entertaining? They had no or little interest in the lessons, making fun of the teachers. I also noticed that no one ever spent lunch time alone. Even people that didn't like eachother pretended to be best friends so that they'd have someone to hang around with. I learned that concept fast: Find someone to sit with in class and spend break with and you are part of the pack, accepted. So that's what I did. There were three girls that I had seen, they were in my class. I tried to become friends with them but they didn't like me much. However I was desperate and scared. I had had such high hopes that secondary school would be better than primary school, that I would find friends. I stuck to the gang of girls like glue, I didn't even care if they ignored me, I tried to pay no attention to the dirty looks that they gave me and even when they started bossing me around, I didn't rebel. The pressure of wanting, almost needing to part of something was too high to resist it. I felt like an alien walking down the corridors, people asking me questions that I didn't know how to answer. “Are you a frigit?” everyone was obsessed about that question, it was only in second year that I learned what a frigit actually was. I don't know if it's a word only used in Ireland but for anyone that doesn't know what a frigit is, here you go: a frigit is someone who has never shifted (kissed) someone before. (It actully hurts having to write the word “shifting.”) It's such a harsh word used to describe something so intimate and beautiful and anyways they made kissing sound like an everyday activity carried out for the mere purpose of number 1: not having to be called a frigit and 2: to show off in front of your friends. They were also consumed with attending the weekly discos. My mum used to tell me about the amazing discos that she went to when she was young. Slow dancing with a beautiful boy in the darkness, funky dresses, it sounded like such a great time. I was so dissapointed when I heard about the discos at my school. 13 year old girls having shifting (kissing) competitions, kissing maybe 13 boys in a row without even knowing them (NO I'm not exaggerating) and “who dares to wear the shortest skirt” competitions. It was (for me anyways) unbelievably hard to process all of these new horrifying things that I had learned about my generation, my school mates, my age group. I started hating social interactions with people at school, excluding my teachers, and break times were the worst thing ever! I became terrified that someday I would become like the rest of the people at school, and the smile that at the start of school would never leave my face vanished altogether.
They were and still are trying so hard to be the same like everyone else, such monotone beings. But you can only make a difference by being different.
I have 18 year olds in my maths class having fart competitions which lead to me and my friend calling them “The Fart Brigade.” I sometimes sit and wonder what will become of them after they've gone to university. I can't imagine them having a job, a wife, children. I have become so ashamed of my age group and this makes me hate being a teenager. I look a lot older so most people assume that I've already finished secondary school so that's a bonus. Unfortunately we have to wear a school uniform so when I go down-town after school everyone will know that I'm a teenager anyways. I know that I shouldn't feel ashamed, I don't act like them and I've never really been a part of their rituals either, but still I can't help it. Sometimes I feel as if I've skipped my entire teenage years and even my mum says that it seems like it. Apparantly I have an old soul, I wish that I would have been born a decade earlier, maybe then things would've been different.