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I just don't fit in ...

Amy Summerfield photo Amy Summerfield · 05 Aug, 2020

I’m 12 and I just finished year 7. I really liked primary school but my secondary hasn’t been so good. It's an all girls school and I don’t fit in. They’re all really girly and all they talk about is make up and fashion and stuff but I’m not really like that - I love football and sports and I’d rather not obsess over what I look like. I used to be friends with loads of boys but now there aren’t any and I just don’t fit in. I hate being a girl, that’s why I got stuck with this school and I wish I didn’t have to be one. At least in lockdown I didn’t have to go but now I’m dreading September and having to go back.

Alex, 12

Hey there! I’m sorry that this is a tough time for you as you face going back to school.

I can totally relate to what you are saying as my experience growing up was pretty similar. Although I didn’t go to an all-girls school, I tended to relate better with boys and struggled with the whole ‘girly girl’ stuff which at the time did not appeal or interest me.

I can understand therefore why you might be thinking “I hate being a girl”, but let’s take a moment to explore a bigger understanding of what ‘being a girl’ means.

Being a girl isn’t defined by make up, fashion, hobbies and what you look like etc.

Being a girl is a gender created and celebrated by God with Jesus himself elevating strong and powerful women to be themselves and nobody else.

Finding a way to celebrate and appreciate your gender, and unique identity, will help you in school and in the whole of life. Be free to reject any stereotypes of what it means to ‘be a girl’ - all that does is limit others and limit ourselves.

So it’s not about ‘being a girl’, it’s about being who you were created to be and enjoying that.

I’m not saying your environment is easy. It's super tough when we feel like we don’t fit in. It’s super tough when it feels like there is no one around like us - but you may be surprised that there are girls in your school who do feel the same as you. Also, remember that there are strong powerful women past and present who own being a women and live their life comfortable in their own uniqueness and then from that place do find friends along the way to travel with.

You mention that you’re sporty and love football. That’s great! Lean into that and recognise that this is NOT in opposition to you being a girl but it’s in support!

My encouragement to you would be to…

Look around - At past and present role models who show us that we can grow to be comfortable in our gender and environment, and be ourselves in that. Check out models like Alex Morgan (USA Footballer) who is rightfully fighting for equal pay in the sporting arena. Look at women like Malala Yousafzai who show us how to persevere even in extreme persecution and be thankful that education is available for you. Check out this brilliant video which I hope reminds you that as a girl you are unique, powerful and strong - youtube link

Look up - For me looking up to God who created and knows me is of such comfort when we go through trials and traumas. God made you, He knows you and He loves and affirms you for who you are and He never makes mistakes. Try praying and asking for his daily help as you go to school and know that He is with you and for you as you face this. You are not alone.

Look again- look again at the girls in your school, look past the make up and the fashion and ask yourself who they are in character? What their wider interests and hobbies are? Look past styles and sterotypes and try again as hard as it feels. You may be surprised that you find more like-minded people than you think!

Look forwards - try to apply hope to your circumstance and an outlook that says you are in fact blessed to have an education where many can’t and don’t. Look forwards to this getting better as you apply the above, look forwards to times in and out of school were you will continue to thrive and grow to love being a girl as supposed to hate - and continue to discover and enjoy great, healthy friendships with boys outside of school.

Praying for you today - you’ve got this and Gods got you!

Amy

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