Jag har precis publicerat mitt första inlägg för rädda barnen. Det handlar om min första termin på högstadiet 2008, om utanförskap i en väldigt grupperad klass. Klicka HÄR för att komma till inlägget. (nedan publicerar jag en översättning för mina utländska läsare)
This is my first post for Swedish Save The Children. It’s about my first semester in high school. The original text is in Swedish, but I’ve tried to translate it as good as I can for you, I think it’s a really important subject.
My heart was pounding hard in my chest the whole first day at my new school. I remember that before I left home early in the morning I just stood in front of the mirror, staring at myself. I had borrowed a nice leopard print shirt and a light blue shoulder bag from my big sister’s closet and I thought, that if you just overlook my boyish body shape, and the fact that I’m probably 10 cm taller than most of the other girls, I looked quite pretty.
I remember how small crowds of excited 13-year-olds who were reunited after a long summer holiday was scattered around the entrance 10 minutes before the school start, and how I tried get eye contact when some of my old classmates showed up.
I remember walking around dining room, watchful as a hawk to find a table with someone to place my plate next to it. I remember I couldn’t find anyone, and that I humiliated had to eat with the teachers that first day.
I remember I didn’t regret my choice to start over in a totally new class even on my way home, this would be my new beginning. It is always difficult to make contact with new people at first. The other six girls in the class (who already knew each other) probably were as nervous as I, behind the hard surface of makeup.
We were a rowdy class, full of insecure kids with the goal to get as high as possible in the school’s popularity hierarchy, to any price. I remember how the topic of conversation in a second could go from complaints about the disgusting school lunches to bullshit about the person who just left the room.
Soon we became a very grouped class. I remember the lump in my stomach when the PE-teacher asked us to divide ourselves into pairs or when the chemistry teacher asked us to find a lab partner, and the sighs and discontented glances that were exchanged when one of the girls ended up in the same group as me.
I remember how I got tired of sitting alone in the dining room, how instead of eating the school lunch called my dad and asked him if it was okay if I took a sandwich in his office instead.
“Ebba, I really can’t force the other girls to hang out with you.” I remember that the class teacher wore an ill-fitting white t-shirt when he asked me to stay in the classroom after a lesson, the day after that my parents had called to my school.
And I remember that after four months of a pounding heart, alone breaks and whispers I couldn’t cope with it. Finally I refused to go to school, and the next semester I was introduced in a whole new class, in a whole new scool across town.
It was my mother who litened to me when I came home from school and tearfully told her what I had experienced during the day, and made me understand that it was not my fault. Changing school is one of the best choices I’ve made in my life. It didn’t take long before I had new great friends but it still took a while for me t understand that there actually are people who honestly like to hang out with me.
It’s so incredibly easy to accept the situation and take the blame when your self-confidence is on the bottom and not even the adults at the school admit that it’s wrong that you have to go around with a pounding heart and a lump in your stomach in school for an entire semester. Loneliness is difficult to handle but it is certainly not the “victim’s” fault and it’s absolutely nothing that should be accepted just because it is not physical bullying.
I know that my story is far from unique, dare I saying that in every high school class, there is someone who feels left out. I write this text for you.
Let the adults know what you’re feeling! For me it was the best option to start over somewhere else, but solving the problem can also involve talking and doing exercises with the class to bring everyone together or to simply get someone to talk to. The important thing is that you never ever blame yourself.