I believe that girls working with each other and not against each other can change the world.
First things first: Hi, I’m Ali. I’m twenty years old and think that ice cream for breakfast should be a thing. Like a real thing. Oh, and pizza for lunch and dinner; who’s in it with me??
Anyways… High School is supposed to be that one chapter in our lives that shapes us into who we are and shows us exactly who we want to be. For me personally, High School shaped me into a person that’s insanely far from who I really am. Are you down for some details?
The school I went to from 5th-12th grade was a Catholic all-girls school a little bit outside of my hometown. Speaking 8 years to female only classmates and you know what? I actually liked it. The teachers really cared about us and everyone in my grade seemed to get along just fine. Except for the gossiping and the making fun of people that didn’t fit in and the constant need to compare ourselves to one another. All of it was one big competition and I wanted to be the best at it.
No, actually that’s not true. I knew how mean girls could be so I became one of them. In order to avoid being made fun of, I made fun of everyone else. Are you thinking ‘Blair Waldorf’ right now? Yes! That was exactly what I was going for. Let me give you an example. One time in 7th grade I got mad at a friend for something that I don’t even remember but she felt really sorry and wanted my forgiveness. Naturally, I made her do ridiculous things for me. Like kneeling down on one knee so that I could step on the other in order to get up on the windowsill. I could’ve easily gotten up there all by myself. Do you see where I’m getting to?
Anyhow, I slowly started to realise who I was becoming and tried to shift my image from mean to nice. I actually ended up being voted ‘Miss Sunshine’ at graduation, but my self-confidence was low as ever. 8 years of putting other girls down in order to protect myself had left me with little personality and an honest fear of other girls.
When I left Germany to move halfway across the world and find a new home in Pittsburgh, PA I promised myself to only make friends with people that bring out the best in me. SO HARD. It legit took me 3 months to find friends. THREE MONTHS. But I kept my promise and for that I am proud of myself. Those girls that I made friends with cared about me. They still do. They are honest (SO important) and selfless. They are funny and crazy. They are supportive. Surrounded by those amazing people I became a little more caring with every day that passed. A little more selfless. Kinder. Sweeter.
That’s when I realised that girls aren’t the enemy. The enemy is the fear of girls.
How many times have I looked at a girl, thinking I would never end up being friends with her because of this and that? Only to find out that she’s actually the nicest person ever and we are lowkey soulmates.
How many times have I talked bad about a girl for things that bothered me about her? Only to completely overlook the many things about her that were amazing.
How many times have I had negative feelings about a girl because she seemed to have everything that I wanted? Only to find out that she thought that I looked nice and she really wanted to know where I got that dress from.
Long story short, the realisation that girls empowering one another can achieve anything, and I repeat anything, has completely changed my life. I have met tons of amazing girls. Girls that don’t always look like I do, but that are just like me in the most amazing ways. That support the same causes. That have kind hearts and interesting minds. That try to be their best self every single day. That fall and get up again. And do you know how I met them? By talking to them.
Honestly, try it! Next time you see something that you really like about someone, tell them. You never know; you might end up making a true friend.