All the things you miss about your all-girls school

The nurse’s room was your sanctuary every month


You were a supreme, skirt-rolling Queen

Those box-pleated travesties made you feel like Mary Poppins. There was only one way of dealing with them short of using scissors, and that was being a pro at rolling up your skirt. Only the naïve year sevens could be forgiven for their floor-skimming skirts, and that was because they matched with their weatherproof Clarks shoes and corny pencil cases.

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You were collectively called ‘ladies’

That’s right – we even had a reading club called ‘Ladies Chapterley’. The only way to get the attention of 25 girls amongst the perfume spraying, home-work copying and French-plaiting was to make us believe we were elegant ladies, far too cultivated to be eating Quavers from under the desk during registration.

So don’t “hey gurl” me, I’ve been a lady since I was 12.

Your were welcomed into womanhood by your mates when you first started your period

You congratulated your friends for crossing the frontier into womanhood with a warm embrace, as if they now became part of the great coven of womankind. If you were the first in your friendship group, you were treated like a frail overlord by all your pre-pubescent mates who spoke of toxic shock syndrome and the lady who ‘lost’ her tampon inside her, because they were just looking out for you. If you needed a tampon, it was chill; there was almost a whole class of girls waving them in the air for you.

Last Day

The nurse’s room was your sanctuary every month

The nurse’s room was kitted out for your Aunt Flo woes. With a fold out bed, a hot-water bottle inside a knitted penguin, unlimited cups of tea and biscuits, painkillers and sanitary pads in all shapes and sizes, you could dream away your uterus. The nurse’s office also proved useful when you wanted to skive from a double period of German.

Pulling up your tights in public was normal

This became second nature. By the time it was lunch, your tights would have sagged sadly at your ankles and it was perfectly acceptable to gather and hoist them up, giving everyone a bit of a burlesque show while you were at it. You didn’t realise this was weird until you did it in sixth-form in a mixed crowd, and everyone thought it was funny.

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You thought you and your friends were the cast from Sex and the City

I needed to be Carrie, wanted to be Samantha, copied Miranda and hated Charlotte. We weren’t drinking Cosmopolitans in bars or going to gallery openings, but we did walk around with coffee, wear faux-fur, slip French words into our vernacular and plan study dates at Westfield.

 Make-up just wasn’t a thing

With no one around to impress on a day-to-day basis, you went makeup free for seven years and felt no shame at all when a colossal spot emerged. You rolled out of bed, threw on your clothes and left the house without a second thought. It was an easier time, with far less need for a hairbrush.