The girls

The uniform; plaid skirts, striped shirts, jumpers to be worn inside of school but never alone outside of school. Hair tied back, nail polish removed, no jewellery with the exception of two plain studs on the earlobes, skirts touching our knees. An independent, anglican, day school for girls only.

You’re told what to do; there’s a right way and a wrong way. You’re told what to wear; there’s a right way and a wrong way. You’re given direction; there’s a right way and wrong way. And although the school website says you won’t be “sheltered from real life”, you are. It wasn’t even that long ago.

Privilege.

It ruled the hallways of high school, yet not many people realise that they have it. It’s taken for granted and all of the girls were privileged but it takes guts to realise it.

Wealth.

Not all the girls were wealthy.

Diversity.

An encouraged part of the school values. Celebrating cultures and learning about religions.

Values are encouraged to mould and shape you into the woman they want you to become, though this certainly is not a bad thing, it can take away from the development of your identity. High school exposes you to education, but somewhat failed to expose me to the world. The uniformity is what defines high school, there is no real indulgence.

Drinking at 14 and smoking at 16, these are some of the girls.

What high school failed to teach me is a whole lot. You’re taught from a textbook and sometimes teachers break away from that but most of the time there’s a set curriculum, and it makes their job easier to teach straight from the textbook. You are spoon-fed and there’s no denying it. Complaining to a teacher or counsellor meant that soon all your problems would be solved.

Between the alluring ambitious images on the school website and the pretentious school motto lies so much negativity. Between their social lives and their school lives, the girls aren’t all happy.

A culture of body-image issues and reliance on objectification.

It’s all just like, whatever, right?

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