Hello, I'm Claire. Magazines, books, music, art, fashion and coffee are pretty much what my life revolves around. I'm regretting the whole Claire Loves Owls thing now but seeing as it's my email, twitter and blogger url I may as well keep it. And I do love owls...

Friday, 4 December 2009

Not Another Teen Blogger

Hello big wide world

I’m Claire and if you’re reading this you probably know my mother so I will try my best to reflect well on her amongst my rants. The title of this blog pretty much says it all, just another fourteen year old blogging about things which are important to her and her self obsessed, sheltered world and completely insignificant compared with the greater goings on in the world. Be that as it may, having my own little place on the internet to rant, to express my feelings and share the things that sparked one of my notorious laughing fits gave me a certain childish thrill.

I love that when you first make the transition between primary school and secondary your teachers love to tell you not to worry, that it’s nothing like the movies and there will be no cliques, no “queen bees” and no gossip. They lie. I am lucky in that I genuinely do enjoy high school, I love grades, I love learning, I love the debates, I love my subjects and I absolutely adore my friends but it isn’t easy and it isn’t always fun. Everyone either is, will be or has been to high school. It’s more or less inevitable and I always enjoy hearing people’s experiences whether positive or negative. In generic, American high school movies there are cliques. There are Goths, geeks, emos, skinny girls, jocks, skaters, high achievers, band geeks, art freaks and most notably the Queen Bee and her ever loyal minions. In British school whilst efforts are made to blur the lines, to deny the blatant pigeon holing and to “include everyone as an equal” they do exist. I was very much into the emo scene and the whole Goth “I hate school, the system and colour” thing for a while and whilst it does seem like a ridiculous obsession with morbidity and gloom I can honestly say I have never had more fun. The people, the scene and the sort of union established with your fellow emos is empowering. It’s the perfect character building exercise, one in which you can rebel without actually rebelling, hate without actually hating and take comfort in your title. The Emo Child is a well known stereotype, once you’ve conformed to it your life becomes easy. Skinny jeans, converse, eyeliner, band shirt, straight hair, vegetarian, skinny, done. All of this is besides my point. When I gave up my emo act, I moved lunch tables, I lost my best friend but I did feel more like myself and my grades improved. Is this clique-ism simply part of teenage life or is it something worse? I think I participated in PE about thrice last year, PE in eyeliner? EXERCISE? Positive attitudes about what the government wanted you to do twice a week? Never. Since giving it all up, I enjoy PE and I actually do extra sport (hockey and badminton) in my own free time. Since giving up my emo act my grades and rapport with the teachers who matter (the teachers who have the power to make you head girl) improved. I often wonder if they improved because my attitude changed or if I became a more acceptable face of the school. Changing your makeup and your hair has much more meaning at fourteen. You lose friends, you lose your title and you become someone new. Why does this matter so much? Why does it matter what your title is, if you’re Queen Bee or not or where you sit at lunch? It shouldn’t, but it does and I do still care a great deal. Has this always gone on or is this a new noughties phenomenon? The cliques, lunch tables and grades are all that matter really. Two of the things we as teens spend our hours worrying over count for absolutely nothing when we leave school and head out into the big bad world. Will it stop us? No. And honestly, as long as we care about our friends and love our families, it doesn’t make us bad people. There’s something almost nice about that, that we can justify this. All we are is teenagers. And to me that means staying up bent over desks and chemistry books, hating our best friends, using history techniques we learned in class to analyse gossip, getting sweaty in tiny music venues with glowsticks in the air and shared hilarity in classrooms. The times the cliques don’t matter and the times we can all just be teenagers, stupid, typical teenagers. And we love it really, don't listen to us if we say we don't.