Middle School Issues
By Clarissa, age 21, Texas
I'm really frustrated with myself. I'm in year 8, and I've been going out with this boy for 4 months and we haven't kissed on the lips yet. Everyone is like, OMG, you're so frigid, and it's so annoying. I don't like kissing - I don't know why - it's just not appealing to me ... I don't know what to do about it.
I was really touched reading your question because you sound like I did at thirteen. The teenage years are a time when everyone is experimenting and trying out new things. Boys aren't so gross anymore now that they have started using deodorant and tantalizing cologne. Makeup is now a new part of the getting-ready-for-school regime, and the hemlines on our skirts seem to get shorter and shorter. Besides all the glam stuff, such as getting an extended curfew and going to parties and dances, this is the time when you began to really discover yourself.
All my friends had boyfriends, were engaging in sexual activities, and even drinking. At that time I felt a lot of pressure to lie and be something that I was not. Even though I hadn't done it I said I did just to be able to fit in. Everybody was having their first kiss, first boyfriend, first date, first time, and I felt like a 21st century Virgin Mary. It's a lot easier to laugh with the others than to be the butt of the joke.
The best advice I can give to you is to run your own race. Don't let your friends make you feel any less about yourself for choosing to do something or not doing it. What works for one person isn't guaranteed to work for the next because we are all unique individuals. You may not like kissing, and that's ok. There isn't a boyfriend-girlfriend contract stating that kissing is mandatory, or anything else for that matter. There are only two people in a relationship, you and him. Yes, your friends can have opinions, but at the end of the day that's all they are - opinions. Do what makes you happy and what you feel comfortable with, and if the both of you are happy together that is all that matters. You are in a relationship with your boyfriend, not your friends.
I am in the sixth grade and I can get very annoyed at times when I know that I can't play sports because of my grade level. However, I am allowed to join clubs at my school. I really want to join the newspaper club. I don't know what to write about though. I thought about reading your website to get practice for writing the advice column, but every other person is going to want to do that too. What should I write about? It's only 6th, 7th, and 8th grade, so it cannot be real deep (like boyfriend/girlfriend related). Thanks a lot ... :)
From the way you wrote your question I can tell you that you are off to a wonderful start in your newspaper experience. I too wrote in my middle school newspaper and I struggled with the same dilemma: what to write about? Boys were still a mystery that I didn't care to uncover, I wasn't really interested in politics yet, and I wouldn't be caught anywhere near a football or anything having to do with sweating of the body.
Writing advice can be a blessing and a curse. People are looking to you for guidance and trusting you with information that they may not feel comfortable telling their family or friends. That being said, an advice column can be answered by more than just one individual, and with more people there is a wider pool of experience and perspective. Maybe teaming up with some other writers and doing the advice section would be a good solution to your problem.
The silver lining in your case is that you seem to have a passion for sports. If there is a sports section maybe that could be a good option for you. My English teacher gave me some really good advice that I will give to you: "Write what you know, and when you put your pen to paper just be inspired from the heart, and everything will flow from there."