In my new school, there are lots of things that I have to get used to: the organisation, the high expectations and the demands of clubs and activities. But in secondary school, almost everyone is worried about one thing in particular. Their image, or how “cool” they are. Today, the word ‘Cool’ is being used to say that someone or something is very popular.

For instance, one of my skirts is about 3 centimetres below my knee (gasp, swoon, thud). I have been told a good five times that I should ‘roll it up’, an action that requires rolling up the top of one’s skirt so it becomes shorter. I firmly said “No,” as I find this very tiresome and the school is keeping an eye out for these girls that make their skirts shorter. To avoid getting caught the girls wear their jumpers even though it was as hot as 27 degrees last week.
Another example of my decision not to be drawn into this behaviour: When invited to a Disney Princess party, I went as Mulan. I was the only one with a sword and wearing trousers. Everyone else wore glitter and make up.

The boys are also acting ‘cool’ by having their shirts untucked, despite warnings from teachers. But mostly, they make fun of the girls in front of their friends to seem like a ‘rebel’. Boys also use phrases like ” Famm, yeah!” or ” Dat is well sick bruv! And well phat!” Not so much in my school, but that sort of language has definitely appeared in my other friends’ language.

Then there is the name-calling of people that decide to get on with their work to get a good job. ‘Know-it-all’, ‘Nerd’, ‘Geek’ and ‘Neek’ are some of the names that I was called by a horrible girl in my old school. Happily I stood up for myself, responding with ” I’d rather be a nerd than a loser.” But sadly, many people let these names hurt them. I never truly befriend name-callers. I once persuaded another girl to go to Debating Society with me, in the vain hope that she’d enjoy it. She said afterwards, ” I won’t ever go there again. My team was just full of geeks.” I am not that close with that girl anymore.

So keep your ‘phats’ and your ‘fam brapp brapps’, as I will wear my trousers with pride. I will NOT roll up my skirt and I will NOT change the person that I am. As long as I am happy with what I am, I will hold my head up high.