OK, so am I the single toughest girl around? Of course not, especially not in physical terms. But I do generally speak my mind and have a tough attitude ready in case there's some bull$#@! I have to deal with. Being tough isn't about being violent or having a prickly demeanor 24/7. It's about being up-front & honest no matter who you stand in front of, doing the good thing when nobody else will and having the guts to not change who you are, even if it seems like the rest of the world doesn't like you. You can take it as serious advice or you can just read and have a laugh. Oh and if you're short on time, I've put the most important things in bold text. Don't you wish textbooks did that? I sure do.
Today's tough girl advice was inspired by CairoChick's Girly Guide to Freshman Year, a wonderful list of do's and don'ts for upcoming freshman (in highschool, I assume, but most of her advice also works for college). She asked if we had anything to add, and this is the resulting...
TOUGH GIRL'S GUIDE TO FRESHMANLINESS!
Fresh`man`li`ness: The quality of being a gutsy freshman. The best way to win friends and bypass (or confront) enemies in High school while still maintaining your "you-ness."
Both genders can have freshmanliness, but there is a unique social pressure in female circles that encourages sneaky tactics used to navigate social situations in high school. I think those kind of things are just passive-aggressive nonsense.
Do your homework during study hall/break. If it's noisy, listen to your headphones. Don't ever give your headphones up to anybody, student or otherwise. If you do, you won't get them back. When you're done with homework keep your headphones on since you really only need lunch to socialize.
Oh, and while you're at lunch, don't be a wimp and eat in the bathroom or library. If you're entirely new to the school district, just sit by someone you've talked to in a previous class and resume whatever conversation it was that you had or ask "Hey (insert name), what's good to eat around here?" If you get booted out of the table, tell them off, take all the empty chairs you can and make your own lunch circle because you're so cool that you don't even need a table to eat. This will get peoples' attention. Then you can casually invite onlookers to sit with you. Bonus points if the people in question were originally from the table you got booted out of. Look, you now have a lunch group. It's not impossible. It just takes a bit of courage and creativity to make new friends.
Don't let other people bully your friends or anyone you associate with (that includes anyone you sit near on break, lunch or in classes). Don't let bullies get away with bull&#@! just because it's not you who they're targeting, because if you do, you'll be next. Don't ask me why, but those kinds of troublemakers like to just go for whomever is nearby...until of course someone gives them a taste of their own medicine (and you may have to break a few small rules to do that). Yeah, they might have a vendetta on you for the remainder of the year, but as long as you don't play into their little game, they won't bother you for the next 4 years, if ever.
Also on the bully note, know thy enemy...er...at least know the first and last names of all the troublemakers. If you tell the principal, "the guy in the blue Southpole shirt stuffed me in my gym locker," (but since you've read the tough girl guide, you won't let any locker-stuffing happen in the first place, right?) the principal is automatically going to punish the dude with the longest track record, regardless of whether or not s/he can corroborate your testimony. And that dude will totally remember that you accused him wrongly, when really it wasn't your fault to begin with. I don't know why this case of mistaken identity happens. I guess it's because adults just don't pay enough attention.
When you're in class, just shut up. You don't even have to pay attention if you don't want to. (But you will learn something if you do, even if it's that your overly-excited biology teacher cannot pronounce fructose properly or that your sniffling Spanish teacher is stealthily teaching you cuss words as a mnemonic to remember basic vocabulary or proper gender use.) Why do you need to shut up in class? Because NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR YOUR MISERABLE WHINING. Especially your classmates who are loathing the class as much as you are. Instead of whining in class, start up a conversation with a complaint about the last class you had (make sure the person you start it with is also bored out of their skull in said class or you may be told on). Yeah, it's negative, but it's a great way to break the ice in order to gain allies...er, study partners.
Now that you have the keys to freshmaliness, you can hold your head up high as you ride the morning bus into the sunrise on the first day of highschool. Oh, watch your step when you get off though. There's nothing more humiliating on your first day of freshmanliness than tripping over yourself before you even get inside the school.
-The Tough Girl