Youth Of The Year

Last night I was given the opportunity to participate in Lions Youth Of The Year. Initially, I wasn’t too keen on going in it; I quit public speaking last year and really wasn’t overly interested in a competition where you were partially judged on your sporting ability (of which I have none). But upon being reminded of University Residency applications, and with the promise of a free dinner, I showed up. 

I am so glad I did. There were five other contestants, and whilst I knew one of them from school, the other four were strangers. We left the night with new, solid friendships. We bonded straight away over our common interests (one guy was even wearing a Slytherin tie!) and in the hours since have added each other on facebook and are making plans for a meetup. I was talking to one of the boys after we got home last night, and we were both saying how refreshing it was to meet people where you can just be yourself. I have alternative interests (and unfortunately not alternative in the sense of cool) and sometimes around those my age, it feels as if there’s an invisible barrier between us that I can’t break through. Of course, this barrier is more often than not imagined, but with my social awkwardness, it can feel all too real. When you meet someone and straight away realise this barrier is missing, it’s a great feeling. When you can be yourself without fear of judgment (which should happen all the time, but let’s face it, we’re in high school so it doesn’t), it’s like a weight off your shoulders and you know that good things are going to happen. To find people who love history, and journalism, and just share a passion for the same things as you in general is amazing, and every time it happens I am so thankful. 

The night was brilliant, and even though I didn’t win, I had a great time. I did win the public speaking section (and received a million “Promise me you’ll keep going!” comments. Sorry, I’m in retirement) which was a pleasant surprise, but what I’m taking away from the night is far more important and special than any certificate.

My mum has always told me that I just need to wait for uni to find like-minded people, and boys who will want to talk to me for me, and last night was a taste of what is to come. People who are above petty high school stereotypes and attitudes are my favourite, and I can’t wait to fill my life with more of them. 

frangipani princess xoxo

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