Life as a teenager 🖤
High school… It feels like a lifetime ago right?
Okay so it kind of was, at least for the majority of us reading this… yep, we’re getting on…. Well we’re not, but you know your teenage self definitely looked at 30 year olds and thought wow they’re old!
I guess our generation do have a bit of luck on our side though. The world has since been blessed with wizards who magically prevent our aesthetic ageing process… yes I have Botox, Sue me 🤷🏼♀️… or join me? 👏🏼 The Queen of 10YY will sort you right out🙏🏼😂… anyway back to the story!
Growing up watching saved by the bell and far too many teenage movies meant I had great expectations for high school. (What can I say Nickelodeon and Disney have a lot to answer for!!)
I always remember waking up on my first day of high school, feeling so excited for this day. I turned up to school full of confidence, about to take on the world!… I was so happy to be there with all of my friends, & the boy I’d had my first kiss with in the summer holidays who was 2 years above was going to be there too! (And when asked the question, are you a fridge or a freezer?… I would confidently let the world know I was now a freezer) Life was great!!
Day 1 – On my first day in registration, our teacher decided that we’d all have to do an ice breaker… One by one each of us had to stand at the front of the class and tell a joke. When it came to my turn I was made up. I was going to use my favourite joke which my dad had told me & it was going to be loads funnier than anyone else’s.
So I gets up, walks to the front of the class… stands there… so confident…
‘what’s the dirtiest joke you’ve ever heard?…
Giggling to myself thinking everyone was expecting me to come out with something really rude… I blurted it out, (11 year old me thought it was brilliant!! 🤣🤣I honestly thought it was so funny!!)… Not one other person in the room laughed! (P.S I still find the joke funny 🤷🏼♀️)
Like all teenagers, it’s safe to say I had my fair share of ups and downs in high school. I think we all go through it in one way or another… including the teachers… Wow some of them were terrorised.
I’ll never forget the day a girl in my French class called the teacher ‘spoony shoes’ (meffy shoes)… if you’re still not familiar with the terms I’ll let you Google that one, Wikipedia will sort you out… but yeah this was after we’d already decorated the classroom with balloons (also known as condoms) 🙈 and she ran out crying… what a day that was.🙈
I did meet some lovely people in high school & I did have a really great best friend. But it wasn’t the great adventure I’d hoped it to be. I was what they call an inbetweener, not one of the cool kids but not a goth either. (Sorry to anyone who that offends – it’s okay it’s been 20 years – were all grown now) but yeah I think i was just a normal kid.
Things at home were pretty tough at the time. We’d just lost our home and me, my sisters, mum and dad were all staying with my auntie and her family. All 5 of us invading her home, taking it in turns each night going between the couch, the floor, and me trying to sneak in my cousins bed once he’d fell asleep so I could get a decent nights sleep.
one morning my uncle was dropping me and my sisters off at school in his van. I asked if we could leave early & if he could drop us off down the road so I wouldn’t be seen getting out of it. 🙈 All’s I could think of is I hope no one sees me. Honestly I was so embarrassed, kids get bullied for far less… so I gets to school half an hour early, crawls out the back of the van! The Coast was clear (pheww) 💁🏼♀️ …
Later that day in English class, I’d put my hand up to answer a question!
‘Shut up Kayleigh, you refugee!’ – the class clown had seen me.
Honestly I died inside 🙈 Me and my dad laugh about it still to this day but you can imagine it now can’t you.
It’s mad because obviously this kid had no clue what was going on in my home life and that I was in fact basically living like a refugee, he just thought it was funny to skit and show off. He didn’t have a clue that each night after school we’d be turning up at a different family members house for a bit of tea, my mum and dad trying their best to keep us fed and make sure we had somewhere to sleep, family members chipping in to help us get by. He just thought it was funny, and to be fair, his shout was 🤷🏼♀️😂 but at the time all’s I cared about is what people would think. I couldn’t tell my friends what was going on as I was embarrassed and scared incase they told anyone.
I’d be standing at the school gates at dinner time or going to reception hoping my dad had dropped some dinner money off. Kicking off when he didn’t turn up or when he turned up with only £1.20 (I was a chub, I deffo could have done without the dinner money, one might even refer to me as ‘the girl who was always on a diet but never lost any weight’ – I do love that one. True story though, so fair play 😂🤷🏼♀️)
Why is it as kids we can be so fucking selfish. We just don’t have a clue do we. I’d be moaning about having to wait around and embarrassed at what people would think, when my parents were doing their very best trying to get by, literally scraping the pennies together to make ends meet.
A couple of years later, we’d just had to leave another home, (I liked this one, this one had a palm tree in the garden which always made me think of holidays… it had nothing to do with the cute neighbour honest👀…)
I still had the keys to this house, and my friends at the time were looking for somewhere to go hang out… It was empty but it was the ideal situation for a ‘sit off’… so I did what any teenage girl would do, and invited everyone back there. 💃🏼
(Can we also just touch on how ‘f’d up’ it is that random people go into shops for kids and buy their ale for them? Like complete strangers & KIDS!!! The world has gone mad!)
Any way the ‘sit off’ was a BAD MOVE… one of the neighbours found out and grassed us in to the landlord. He turned up with his daughter (she was a couple of years above me in school) and kicked us all out, . 🙃 silly girl kayleigh. SILLY GIRL!! I was mortified, and it was all my own fault… (why did I ever think we’d get away with it)… My dad didn’t even go mad at me, I was embarassed and he blamed himself for it…That part really does get to me. 💔
The thing about my parents and most peoples parents I imagine, is that they will do anything to see their children happy, whatever it takes. Even if means sacrificing everything they have, even if just for a day.
I’ll never forget my 16th birthday. I was one of the oldest in my school, and one of the girls in my year had just had a sweet 16 (American style) birthday party. Because of this my parents thought they had to live up to this expectation, and paid for me and all of my friends to go and see Jay-Z. It was amazing, my friends thought it was amazing! We got a boogie bus there and back and yes I had the best time and am so thankful!
But could they afford it??… Hell No?… so why did they do it?… because they felt they had to. Looking back now I completely get why they felt that way, and it makes me so sad to think of what they were really going through whilst doing their best to make it look like they had it all together… I guess that’s the problem though with societal pressures. Had they not felt the pressure to conform to these standards, they would have been able to pay their rent that month, and we might not have lost the house..
It was the same with Christmas presents, birthday presents… you’d wake up on Christmas morning to a house full of gifts and a couple of weeks later they’d be sat in a window in cash converters!! (I still hate that place)…. but they just couldn’t afford it. Times were hard!
I don’t even have kids but it’s so easy to see how parents get caught up in the trap of their children having to keep up with the latest trends,… Kids these days are walking around with the latest iPhones and balenciaga’s like they’re a bag of 10p sweets we used get from the half way shop. Honestly I have no clue how people afford it & it makes me so sad to think that many really can’t…. it’s like one big rat race!!
Now before I finish off on my teenage memories, I’d like to share with you this next situation. I think many people experience an element of this in high school, and after speaking to different people it seems it happens a lot more than you’d think.
I’d love to spread some sort of awareness on this because quite frankly it scares me to think how many people could have fallen victim to this and many probably did and still do to this day. So here goes…
I was sat one evening on MSN (the Facebook of our generation)… when a boy who lived around the corner, who was also in my year in school messaged me out of the blue. He started flirting and trying to see what I was about, saying he liked me blah, blah, and then asked me to go around to his.
Luckily for me I was very shy with boys, and although I was made up that he said he liked me, I didn’t have the courage to just go around to his.
Why luckily you might ask?…
Well the reality of the situation was that sat behind that screen, where this boy was messaging me from, he was not alone.
Some of my ‘friends’ at the time thought it would be funny to see what kind of reaction I’d give. They were sat in his room, messaging me, pretending that he liked me, asking me to go to his, suggesting rude things and laughing with each other that I believed them.
Now Luckily for me I was never ‘that type’ and my gut served me well 🤍 (I will forever thank my gut for guiding me out of bad situations!)
But it just makes me so sad to think of how many other young girls in my position would have had the same thing happen to them, and have been taken advantage of in that situation…. feeling insecure and then happy that a boy actually liked them. To fall for it and start to engage all for it to turn out to be a joke / game. And potentially even worse, actually turn up at the place, be taken full advantage of and be made a laughing stock the next day.
I’m not sharing this information to expose anyone, heck it was high school and some days were a real life episode of mean girls and others your group of friends were your soul sisters, it happens to the best of us. We ALL experience a element of this, and there’s certainly no hard feelings, we were just kids!!… I just hope that by sharing this information, it’s a conversation you pass on to your own kids, nieces and nephews, to educate them and prevent from being the cause or the victims of situations like this… High school can be tough as it is, and no child (yes teenagers are still children) should have to deal with that.
Your teenagers years focus so much on ‘fitting in’, wanting to be liked and what other people will think etc… it’s like one big bubble that you think you’re going to be stuck in forever. Then you leave school and realise that none of it ever even mattered. It all just becomes another memory, another past experience.
Chances are after high school, you’ll never see the Majority of these people again (except the odd drunken night out, where’ll you reminisce on the ‘good old days’ be best friends for the night only to go back to your normal life the next day and never speak to them again). You’ll continue to be social media friends and clap them from afar because you’re all adults and nice like that 👏🏼 and really the majority of those people will be very much like yourself, very different from high school and actually turn out to be really nice people.
I’m not embarassed to share this with you. It is what it is, and yeah okay the old me would have died at the thought of exposing this information (especially not anonymously). In fact me 7 days ago would have… True story😂 (shout out to my friends for encouraging me to put it out there!)
In order to love who you are, you cannot hate the experiences that shaped you, and my teenage years were a big part of that, so there you have my reason for sharing.
If anyone else has been impacted by anything in this blog, I’d love to hear from you. Please do not hesitate to get in touch with me & share your story 🤍
Until next Time…
Shits about to get interesting 👀😂