Sixteen Going on Seventeen

"Dear Diary," [I want to start, as that has been one of the few personal ways I mention things recently — I've gone from almost a month of not writing anything in my journal, to scrawling illegible extracts multiple times in one day,] "I am turning 17 in exactly a week. Now it us my turn for the song I played repeatedly to Gwendolen and my roommate before their 17th birthdays."

My So Called Life
I. You wait little girl
On an empty stage
For fate to turn the light on

Your life little girl
is an empty page
that men will want to write on

To write on

I frequently get the feeling that I am waiting, even though I know I am not, I am in the midst of life and need to get on with it. In fact, I'd say my life is reasonably eventful for a nearly-17 year-old, especially the last two months which have contained various events I thought only happened to protagonists of crappy fiction books or something like Jacqueline Wilson, which I detest (not exciting ones with fairies or anything). Despite this, the so-called "page" of my life seems empty of any real meaning. I often feel old for my age, with a sort of ennui, while at other times I am a just a child.

Taken by me in Highate Cementery some time ago.

II. You are 16 going on 17
Baby its time to think

Better beware
Be canny and careful
Baby you're on the brink

I'm on the edge of something, a change and push into real life. Our second years are leaving in a month, people who have influenced me more than I can imagine, some of which I idolise, yet chances are I will never see most of them again in my life. I'm also a year away from leaving myself, and even though I've only been here for a year it feels like forever. We are told leaving us almost as formative as coming in the first place. Besides, when I leave it will be for university, a step in my life I don't even want to think about.

Taken by me with an old film camera and reminds me of Flowers on the Wall from Pulp Fiction.

III. You are 16 going on 17
Fellows will fall in line
Eager young lads
And grueways and cads
Will offer you fruit and wine

This is yet to happen. I refuse to define or validate myself by such a relationship, but I can't help thinking about its lack, especially when others I know genuinely have lines of suitors after them. I won't dwell on this, just read Rookie instead.

Tumblr somewhere.

IV. I am 16 going on 17

I know that i'm naive
Fellows I meet may tell me I'm sweet
And willingly I believe

I am 16 going on 17 innocent as a rose
Bachelor dandies
Drinkers of brandies
What do I know of those

Again, see the Rookie link above, but I just feel so naïve about related issues, exacerbated by my tetotalitarian* refusal to drink. I like to think I'm not gullible, yet I cannot help feeling I frequently get condescending chuckles (not mean, but there still) at my way of being.

Taken by me at the end of this February, at Lake Ohrid in Macedonia.

V. Totally unprepared am I
To face a world of men
Timid and shy and scared am I
Of things beyond my ken

Frankly, I don't particularly want to grow up. Peter Pan seems to have been a recurring symbol in my life of late, and I frequently wish I could fly off to Never-Never land rather than be plagued by my fears of time passing and getting older like Captain Hook and his crocodile that swallowed a watch.


VI. I need someone
Older and wiser
Telling me what to do
You are 17 going on 18
I'll depend on you

I'm not sure what I'm doing, and I wish I had some guide to help. Books have become increasingly comforting (extra-significant coming from a child whose preferred  company is generally books), and I feel I can appreciate literature so much more than before. Part of me would like to go on to study it, but International Relations/Politics and History also call, and I can't decide and don't know which would be best or which would make me happiest.

Yet, despite this, I think I am doing okay. If come to realise from recent events that  I'm a fairly resilient person,  and I think I am making the most of the non-academic opportunities around me— I am an editor of the school newspaper, one of the school MUN secretariat, part of the Social Life Committee, a regular and involved person at Student Council, and a new language mentor for next year. I do okay academically, even though I realise I could spend far more time and effort on them, and I am scared I won't live up to my predicteds. I'm reading more, a reasonable journaller, think I have a pretty good taste.

I need to stop comparing myself to those around me, find a way of fitting into my  life the fact that I value being alone, work on making more of my friendships better, and work out what is really important to me so I can focus on it.

Maybe being seventeen won't be so bad after all.


PS. Please forgive incoherent spelling/grammar.

*adapted word to sound more intimidating


  1. My 17 has flown by so fast, and has somewhat disappointing in that nothing much has changed, but also nice as it's just a nice-sounding age. I think I/people become a lot more self-assured at 17, you will be okay! I have come to think of it as a preparatory year before I can REALLY start living my life, to make myself feel better I guess. Happy birthday and best of luck for 17!!

    1. Thank you! It's true that 17 sounds nice, and I think it will be a good experience, the concern more than anything is that I feel like I only just turned 16, and am a 15 year old at heart. However, I do get a feeling that some self-assurance will come with 17 that will do me quite a lot of good.

  2. Found your blog on Rookie and love love love it! The initial screenshot from My So Called Life is fab

    1. Thanks, the photos on your blog look great too!

  3. I totally get this. I'm nearly 18 now and I still feel like this, like I'm bored and have seen everything but at the same time I haven't experienced enough. It's confusing but you described it beautifully haha.

    1. Thank you! It's so scary getting old...

  4. (this is the third time I've typed this out, stupid computer). This was beautifully written. Even though I still have another one and a half years until I turn 17, I identify with this on some level.

    On another note, enjoy being part of the Secretariat! I was just SG for my schools' conference and had a blast. It's really an unforgettable experience.

    1. (ugh, technology, I get that) Thank you, and wow! We have to organize a 2 day conference for the whole school next year so I may ask for advice...

  5. I haven't read your blog in so long, I've really missed it.
    I turned 17 a few months ago, so I really enjoyed this post. It mirrored a lot of my feelings about turning 17.

    1. Thank you, it's lovely to hear


Please do comment, we get wonderfully excited about it and like having comment-conversations. Plus we'll be happy to have a look at your blog!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...