Why I hate being Fifteen

Written by Sarah McCulloch

Looking back on my previous article, I hope this one comes out slightly better written, and also, somewhat more to the point, as the last was just an excuse to bash Ruth, something that was fun but irrelevant.

I think the worst thing about being 15 is not your teachers going into a frenzy about your upcoming GCSEs (I'm English, remember), but that you're so close to being the golden age of 16, when you can smoke, have sex, and leave school or join the army. Why the hell you would want to join the army is anyone's guess, given Iraq, but again, it's the principle dammit! If I want to be shot at and blown up, why should I have to wait 12 months to do so in the army, when all I have to do is walk in Manchester at night? Which is why it's so annoying being 15, to be so close and yet so far. Which would you rather do, legally watch the Matrix, or legally shag? My point exactly.

Strangely, 15 seems to be my year for responsibility, being made Prefect ( as the only one who applied for Environment, my "friends" never fail to point out how worthless it is and how wonderful their Geography prefectship is because they had 50 people for 6 posts. Fuckers), Form Captain, and Student Council representative in quick succession. Very odd for someone who seems to have racked up more detentions than her entire year combined, and the only person to have seen (read: dragged off to) every Progress Manager (Guidance Counsellors on acid) the year has had. I've now got more badges than a Scout. And yet having an article published in CoN is still a greater honour than being given a shiny bit of metal attached to you (you hear one complaint about the canteen prices and the water fountain pressure, you heard them all).

And of course, the situation with one's friends only intensifies at 15, because you've had another year in which to piss each other off. And, being 15, the hormones only get upped, honestly, for those of you too old to remember it, it's your body's answer to LSD. I swear I have to be hallucinating my friend growing six feet tall and turning into a fire-breathing dragon ready to burn my head to a cinder because of a comment like "I don't like your hair", surely?

The stand-off with Ruth described at the end of "Why I hate being 14" was only resolved as I, wracked by guilt (being the moral upstanding person that I am, no really, I am, oh screw you), confessed that I had hacked her e-mail account and had read all of her personal mail over the summer (including some stuff from David that no-one beyond Ruth should ever have seen, I am still scrubbing my retinas daily). As it turned out, we needn't have fallen out, because she dumped him several months later, citing "Oh God he drives me up the wall, he's so bloody annoying!" Apparently she is too ticklish to enjoy being felt up. One wonders how she intends to have children, if her partner can't get anywhere near her without her calling me to moan about him.

Ruth is still the mad hypocritical basket case she always has been, sans the religion (three years in my company is now enough to turn most people atheist). I'm just too depressed most of the time to care about it. It's hard to believe that someone can maintain such a level of worry, but Ruth manages to make the transition from one terrifying I-can't-sleep-at-nights-and-have-permanent-stomach-ache-from-stress problem to another seamlessly. Whether it's exams ("I know I've never got less than 70% in any exam I've ever taken and regularly beat you, Sarah, in every test, but I still might fail!"), or this bloody World Challenge ("Ruth, want to go to S. Africa for a month where you can get shot at and caught up in religious wars, and if you're really lucky, mauled by wild animals?" "Hell, yeah!" "You've got twelve months to raise ?3000." "Sarah..."), Ruth never fails to worry ceaselessly about it. She even worries about whether she being a good enough friend to me! Oh, the irony, the bitter irony. Gah.

Annabel is no longer the nutball she was, as she lost interest in her one true love(but not her hatred for the four-footer, who is more in love than ever, apparently, which would be quite endearing if both my friends this time last year hadn't been in "love" and championing the messes that were their beaus), and although she still says occasionally she'd quite like to fuck him, or indeed anyone male in the vicinity (interesting point, if a boy steps into our all-girls school, he is immediately mobbed by sex-mad teenagers trying to touch him, while the mere sex-deprived glower in the background, wishing they had the courage to become sex-mad), we think this is down to a mixture of hormones and her being stark staring bonkers than actually wanting to fuck the human orang-utan hybrid (imagine hair, EVERYWHWERE, but stylishly trimmed, and Frodo eyes). Still lying, still dancing, she just does it in this season's shoes (I shall never forget the look on her face when I told her I had no idea what Burberry was).

I guess, in the end, we're just three people (well, one person, one neurotic, and Annabel) struggling through life. I just wish I could drive.