September Blogging, and Being an Awkward Teenager
I’ve got a pretty vivid memory of my thirteenth birthday – October 1 2009. It was a Thursday near the beginning of Year 8, and my school had a Flexible Learning Day. They’re called different things all over, but it’s an off-timetable day where you do all of the cross-curricular teambuilding type activities, sometimes based on a theme. That particular one was about marketing with an Olympics theme, and we also had to build a rollercoaster out of paper straws, for reasons that I’m still not entirely sure.
And so, as quickly as it started, my time as a teenager is drawing to a close. I’ll have to start referring to myself as a “twentysomething” or something like that. Vicenarian? Oh dear – might need to work on that.
So, for my final month of teenagerhood, I’m going to attempt to put something out on this blog every day of September. It’s shaping up to be an eventful month – I’m going away for a few days, and then I’m going to be moving into my second year house (woo!), and there’s another Open Day towards the end of the month.
Thinking back to just having turned thirteen, it’s kind of amazing how different I am now, how different my life is now, and how different it is to what I expected. I think I wanted to be a cartographer or a geologist at the time – I don’t think I’d ever considered a maths degree, and had probably never heard of Warwick. I can’t find any photos of me at 13 (probably for the best), but I think that was the year I had a weird half-fringe type haircut, because I begged to have a fringe but my mum wanted all of my hair long, so she compromised, and it was terribly embarrassing. I was a really shy kid, and hardly talked to anyone. I most definitely had braces, and I’d fairly recently earned my Blue Peter badge, so that was a permanent fixture on my blazer. I’d also never really answered to “Emily” outside of my family at that point – there were far too many girls with the same name, so I was either “Em” or “Wolfie” at school.
A lot of things about me have changed in the past few years. I got interested in maths through the UKMT challenges. I donated my hair at 17, and I’ve kept it short ever since. I’ve got a lot more outgoing – I started doing school plays, then a lot of public speaking, so I’m less nervous than I once was. The braces got removed. Nobody’s called me “Wolfie” in a long time – thank goodness! I’m pretty happy with how I’ve changed, especially being more comfortable in myself and having made some great friends over the past few years.
I’ve still got that Blue Peter badge in a jewellery box in my room back home, along with all of the other badges I had to take off when the uniform policy stopped allowing non-uniform badges. I remember getting it in the summer of 2009. They were running a trivia game called Factbyte Factory – you had to read about all sorts of things each week over the summer, and then answer questions about what you’d read, until you had enough points for a badge. I don’t remember any of the facts now, but I think it was vaguely animal-themed.
And now? I read about anything and everything, in the hopes of improving at quizbowl – the trivia game that I picked up when I joined QuizSoc last year. Some things never change, I guess.