A girls’ school guide to going to uni
There are boys here
You won’t get pregnant if you accidentally see a boy with his shirt off
We all heard the rumours at school- “don’t smell Lynx- you’ll get pregnant”, “if you touch someone with a Y- chromosome you have to shower immediately while singing the school hymn to ward off STIs” and “boys are dangerous creatures”.
But, ladies, allow me to assure you, you can only catch pregnancy if they actually sit on your bed.
Menstruation is a closed topic
I know that at school we were all in sync and borrowing a tampon was like borrowing a pen (as in, normal, not that you got it back, six months later chewed).
But here, in the real, co-ed world, discussing your flow is a real no-go.
Don’t pull your tights up publicly
There’s a special kind of horror brought only by wrinkly ankles, the main warning sign of an imminent Wandering Gusset Situation.
But girls, pulling your tights up in public is odd and alarming for passers by.
General society expects from a lady a level of decorum higher than stopping mid-stride, to hike up one’s pantyhose. Waddle yourself to a bathroom.
Men aren’t as sensitive as you have been led to believe
We all remember being told that “bare shoulders upset the male teachers”, and knowing that short skirts, ankle socks, undone top buttons and hair that wasn’t tied back were equally alarming for the only male influences we had, other than our own fathers.
So imagine my surprise on getting to uni and seeing men remaining unmoved by bared knees and cleavage visibility.
I researched this intensively and could only come up with two reasons as to why the chaps I now know are so stoic in the face of flesh; either my female only educational establishment mislead us into sticking to our dress code by appealing to our kindness, or men are braver up North.
Your PE kit is also not an offensive outfit
“Don’t leave the school premises in your PE kit” was a rule whose basis wasn’t fully understood, but we followed it anyway, on the off chance that a rounders skirt and a polo neck out in the open could cause spontaneous combustion. False.
You can wear sports kit wherever you please – run wild girls.
You don’t need to give everyone Christmas cards
At school, writing 70 Christmas cards on 1st December was a political necessity, due to the increased sensitivity of girls who spend their lives swimming around in a sea of oestrogen.
If a person in your year did not receive a card from you, she felt as though it was a personal victimisation.
However, at uni, no one gives a shit.
If more than 7 people are sober enough to know your name when the Christmas, post-summative party season comes around, it’s a good day.
Not everyone did pilates or zumba classes instead of Sixth Form PE
We all know that school wasn’t encouraging us in these classes to make us attractively flexible, or to help to point us in the right direction to become highly successful Yummy Mummies.
But for some reason, people snicker at the idea of 15 girls stretching in a room together
Feminism exists, and it’s good
At school, there was no such thing as “fighting for equality” or “sexist banter” because, if the commonly used phrase “get back in the kitchen” is used to exemplify the point, we all should have been in the kitchen.
But out here, in the big wide world, where male:female ratios aren’t just something to read about in teen chicklit, it is important to remember that while banter between friends is okay, there is such a thing as sexism, and it isn’t funny, or something we should have to deal with.
Your socks and knickers don’t really need to be name-taped
Your mum spent the summer before Year 7 name-taping everything you owned. EVERYTHING.
And every summer after that encouraging you not to grow, in case, Heaven forbid you grew out of the carefully name-taped knickers you’d had since you were 11.
You don’t have to catch up
Yes you went to a girls school. No you didn’t have your first kiss until you were 17 and it was a half cousin at a family wedding.
But that doesn’t mean that you need to pull everything you stumble across in order to catch up with so-called “normal” girls.