Image from the Library of Congress via Flickr/ Creative Commons

When I Was a Girl…

1. I avoided wheelchair accessible bathroom stalls like the plague

Every girl in my class avoided the giant stall in the corner of the room because for whatever reason we felt like the smaller, less comfortable stalls were more socially acceptable. Now when I see one of those giant beacons of hope I race old ladies to them because gosh darn it I will be the queen of the bathroom!

2. I thought a dollar could buy me anything

During lunch I would go up to the school vendor and buy a bag of chips, two cookies, and a fruit rollup with a dime to spare. To a fifth grader, those packages of sugar and salt were everything we ever needed, and more. In George we trust. That’s what I thought until I figured out what a college tuition was.

3. I knew exactly what I wanted for Christmas

Every Barbie Product, Easy Bake Oven, and girl-centric videogame ever invented made its way onto my list come Christmas time. Now my mom gets frustrated when she asks me what I want and I tell her to surprise me. (Hint: Hey mommy I know I’m twelve years too old for this but I’m still looking for that Barbie Jeep, or a real Jeep, whatever you find.)

4. Kool-Aid was my drink of choice

Even when I knew that it was made of mysterious colored sugar and grody tap water I always wanted to get my hands on the infamous “red” flavored. Now I drink lemonade, a more elegant member of the thirst quenching –Ade family. (Shout out to Gatorade and Powerade.)

5. High school themed movies were my social Bibles

Mean Girls and the entire Bring It On franchise taught me how to high school. Their lessons remained accurate until my first day of high school.

6. I thought I’d meet my future husband in high school

There are only like 5 ½ dudes at my school.

7. I thought prom was going to be the most important event in my life

I spent my junior prom eating all of the finger sandwiches as I struggled to breathe in my corset. I then collapsed onto the floor where I remained until it was time to go to the nearest seedy breakfast diner.

8. I started going to Starbucks so that I could feel more like a teenager

And I don’t even like coffee that much… Also, now I’m broke.

9. I tried to wear makeup I didn’t even need because that’s what women did

And now the days when I look at my freshly washed face, sigh, and toss my makeup into the trashcan happen more frequently.

10. I hated being a girl

And now all I want to do is go back to the days when I sat in a freaking car seat.

Those were the golden times. I’ve grown up too quickly.


Lauren Harris is a high school senior at an arts school. She is an advocate for the educational enrichment of African-American children and is also very interested in researching how African-American women are perceived by themselves and by the rest of the world. She enjoys online shopping, curly hair, macaroni and cheese, “The Twilight Zone”, and Friday nights playing The Sims. Please read more of her work at her blog www.afrogirltalks.com.