I have lived almost all of my life with insanely long hair. For as long as I can remember my hair had never been shorter than a bob. So, when I shaved my head at the end of grade 10 you could say it was quite a drastic change. It was something I always wanted to do but I always found reasons why I couldn’t. Until one day, I kinda realized I had no excuses anymore and that day I told my mom and we got my head shaved the day after. Even though it was sudden, there was some reasoning behind it. My whole life, my hair had been a security blanket. I was super self-conscious about my appearance and there were times where my hair was the only thing I thought was beautiful about me. But once I went into grade 10 as a drama kid everything changed for me. I became more confident and I felt more beautiful than ever so I felt comfortable finally doing something I always wanted to do. I also knew I wanted to donate my hair because I have friends whose parents have cancer. Shaving my head was probably one of the most drastic decisions I have ever made in my life and even though I went through some hardships with it, I wouldn’t go back on my decision.
When I first shaved my head it was exciting and new. It was fitting; however, that the most drastic decision that I would ever make was accompanied by a drastic change of pace that happens from grade 10 to grade 11. When I went into grade 11 my hair stood completely straight giving me the appearance of an unblown dandelion. I didn’t know how to style it, I didn’t know what to do with it. It was just there. I hated it. Going into grade 11 felt like I was drowning. I had missed a week’s worth of school and I was in three cores with my one elective being art. Up to that point in school, I could easily just do well in my classes so I had almost no study and homework habits which didn’t help. I was lost and I didn’t know what to do. My mental illnesses were acting up and it was affecting every aspect of my life. I started regretting my decisions. I wished I never shaved my head and I wished that I didn’t take -1 Math or AP English. I was in an awkward phase of growth. I didn’t know how to deal with my hair or my stress. When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t see the long-haired joyful and confident girl I was last year. I felt like a shadow of who I once was.
It wasn’t long before my hair finally decided to succumb to gravity. It was still a quite awkward phase but at least it wasn’t standing up. I bought myself a bunch of hair products and started trying to figure out how to deal with my hair. I was super stressed with school so I decided to start to take care of myself. I realized that I couldn’t go through grade 11 living like I had in grade 10. I started writing down all of my due dates in a calendar, I stopped drinking caffeine, I set a bedtime for myself, and I created study and homework habits. I learned to take care of myself. I distinctly remember telling Zaid about how stressed I was one night and he said to me “I can’t say that it will get better, because it probably won’t, but you will get better”. I did get better. I found that my anxiety was getting a lot better and while I was still very stressed I knew now to take care of myself. It was also at this point where my love for school was renewed. I was able to stay more engaged during classes and I noticed that my marks went up. I learned how to deal with my hair and my stress in school.
I really like my hair now. Over the break, my hair grew a lot and now it’s finally at the length where I can do things with it. I can curl it, pin it, and style it. I got out of the previous awkward phase. While I don’t feel like the me that I was last year, I feel as though I’m an improved version of myself. When I came back from the break I felt changed. Ms. Orchard actually took one look at me and told me I looked like I was sparkling. I was back. Coming back I had clarity and I could see how much I grew. This past semester has been the hardest semester of my life. However, through all of the pain and the stress that I felt, I ‘m really glad that I did what I did. I’m glad I challenged myself with choreographing the musical and putting myself in harder classes. I love being in AP and I couldn’t imagine a better class. Growth sometimes requires a little hardship and stress. But under pressure, one can become something beautiful. I can see my growth in inches every time I look at myself in the mirror. My hair grew as I grew. I’m happy where I am. I wouldn’t change anything that I went through this semester. I became better.