You know that moment where it hits you how old you REALLY are? I had that today, because I’m going into year 12. A-Levels. Work. It’s TERRIFYING.
I was a bit of a wreck last night, but I was managing. One of my best friends is starting blind college today, so I was talking to him yesterday – it distracted me from feeling nervous, which was great. I also wanted to show him that he COULD actually survive there.
This morning, I woke up at 8 and immediately felt a little sick. I wandered round the house, eating something that could vaguely be called breakfast, and washing my face to make myself feel more human. It’s what I do – I can’t help it! At least I wasn’t manically rubbing my hands together as I’m wont to do when nervous.
Ohh, and I put makeup on. I put the foundation on myself, which made me smile, and then I had help with the mascara because otherwise I’d look like a fucking dolphin. It took me a while, but I eventually felt happy enough to not be so nervous: putting on makeup wasn’t to impress people, but rather to show them and myself that I had changed.
I had shoved a random folder in my school bag (which I then didn’t need) the night before, so all I had to do was put my computer in there (which it turns out I ALSO didn’t need). By this time, it was nearly 10 o’clock: I live a way away from my school, so I have to get a taxi in; I decided to go in very early because I wanted to feel like I had my shit together.
Whilst in the taxi, I genuinely TALKED to the lady who was with me and my taxi driver. If you know me, you know that this NEVER happens; I’m an antisocial moth at the best of times, and usually just listen to my music. Today, though, I spoke to her about everything: about her kids, grandkids, her mother who recently passed away and just generally life. She wasn’t the usual person I had, and it was nice to just chat to her. It meant that when I got into school, I felt more calm and in a social mood, which really helped in the day ahead.
Because I wasn’t sure when my friends were arriving, I went to the sixth form common room. That involved accidentally crashing into a door, not being sure where I was going exactly, and then finding a teacher who shook my hand for about a minute whilst congratulating me on my GCSE results. She was lovely, and helped me to find a seat so that I wouldn’t be standing around like a loner. I sat there for about ten minutes before my friend Pine arrived, and I shrieked hello at her and hugged her so hard that I couldn’t breathe.
As the rest of my friends arrived – Wren, Red and Odd, we all started asking (shouting at) each other to find out where our form rooms were. For the first time in 5 years, Pine and I weren’t in the same form which made me more upset than I let on.
Guess what? Only one person I knew was in my form. He’s part of my friendship group, and we’ll call him Harley because I literally can’t be bothered to think of a tree name. I don’t know him well, but I do think he’s awesome. My other friends were scattered in various forms, so I walked to the room I was supposed to be in with Harley (coincidentally my old music classroom).
The title of this post relates to the friend I made. I won’t give her a name yet, because I want to see how important she might be to me and if she’s going to be permanent. She lives next door to Harley, and recently came to this country from another. Pretty much straight off, we started talking – not in depth about much, but I made an effort to show hershe was welcome. We saw each other a few times throughout the day and I asked her how she was doing – she was doing VERY well – and I felt happy, and more confident, because I’d gone out of my comfort zone and spoken to someone.
The day itself was pretty borring. For about three hours – with a break for lunch – we did admin stuff. I sat next to Harley, talking and making several jokes. Though I didn’t interact with many people in my form, I felt a certain thrill at the possibility of new people.
Another thing that happened was that I spoke to someone, again. The guy who sat next to us was someone I’d never heard of before – not because he was new, but just because he was repeating year 12. I knew he was there, but not what his name was; I couldn’t speak to the other people around them either because I didn’t know them, or I was too nervous because they had their own friends. When I found out this guy’s name, I got up the courage to just say hi, and we spoke for a little while. Before I knew his name, we had a slightly weird conversation about cereal and our favourite types (I don’t know either), which he most likely doesn’t remember. Oh well! It still counts as an accomplishment, because I think I really showed someone who I was.
At lunch, I hung out with what was left of my friendship group. So Odd, Wren, Red, Harley, and various other people. It was loud, insane and crowded, and a friend that Wren and I made on induction day came and sat with us too. The girl we’d met in the morning wasn’t there, but she’d found some people to hang out with which was great. After lunch, we did some more admin stuff which was dull as fuck, and then everyone just went home.
Except, well, me. A few of my friends stayed for a little while and we wandered round the school, talking loudly and being our usual selves. After they left, I went and sat by the place where my taxi comes and picks me up. There, I had the experience that made my day.
As well as year 12, years 7 and 13 also came in today. While I was waiting, year 7s round past shouting, being year 7s and talking about their spelling tests which caused me to burst out laughing (I’m sorry! They were adorable!) One of the year 7s came and sat down near me, and once I got off the phone to my dad, I turned to him, just to check he was alright I suppose:
“Hey, are you waiting for a taxi?”
Him: “No – just for my mum to come and pick me up.
Me: “Ahh, awesome!”
Him: “Not to be offensive or anything, but are you blind?”
I was happy he asked, and told him so, then said it wasn’t offensive in the slightest. It turns out that he has a sister who’s going into year 11, who had mentioned a blind girl in the year above her. I said that yes, that was me, and that he shouldn’t worry about offending me because I don’t get offended.
Something I’m proud of myself for doing is then telling him that if he needed any help, he could come and find me. If he saw me around, I said that he could ask me anything – that I knew what it was like to be in year 7 and to be too scared to ask any teacher for help. I wish somebody had done that for me when I was his age, not that I would have accepted it but there you go. What made me smile was that he seemed so thankful, so shocked that anyone would offer him help – especially a Sixth Former, and not in a patronising way as well.
I spoke to him like he was mature, not like he was some stupid kid. In turn, he talked to me in the same way, and even though we’re 5 years apart, it didn’t matter. I said bye to him, smiled in his direction, and went home feeling really helpful and happy – like I was someone kind, reaching out to a random stranger, and not someone who would just turn their back.
This is what I want to do. I want to make new friends, and help people who need it. I love my friendship group, but here’s the thing: I want to be my true self in sixth form. Someone who speaks up, isn’t afraid to talk to the once ‘popular’ kids, and who can confidently walk into a room.
I’m so scared that I won’t be able to blog much. Neglecting you guys, or Elm, is something that would probably destroy me; this is the one thing that keeps me grounded. If I don’t post as frequently, it’s because I have to work, not because I’ve forgotten you. I could never do that.
I’ll tell myself, over and over again, that I can do this. I’ll tell myself that until I don’t just think it – I believe it.
From Elm 🙂