Public High School.

>> Friday, September 16, 2011

Asalamualaykum aunties,

I have recently moved to public school and i'll say it right out. I HATE IT! i mean, first the whole girl and boy thing, then, the teachers are JUST CRAZY! people bug me about my attire(hijab and jilbaab) and i am getting really fed up with it. i can't concentrate. i feel like crying all the time. i know i am complaining which is not a characteristic of a muslim but i am just soooooo ugh! i am soo mad at myself. i hate this school, i hate everybody. sometimes, i feel like throwing stuff at someone. every night i go to sleep crying and i wake up crying. i dread mornings sooo much so that i wish i were dead or something.

desperately in need of advice.

Dear Desperately In Need of Advice,

I'm so sorry to hear that things aren't going well at all in your new school....that you wake up in tears and that you dread going to school/ each new day. That must be really horrible :(

Here is a big, big hug! Habibti, It's hard being a new kid. Let alone, the new Muslim kid. But believe me, it can get better.

How?

1. Attitude:
You set the day/ mood. When you walk in through that door, if you walk in with your shoulders slumped, a frown on your face and a "please leave me alone attitude", you are practically inviting them to
a) tease, mock you
b) treat you like the outsider
c) ignore you

You are also sending them the message that you need their approval and consent.

That's not true. You do not need their approval or consent on your clothes.

I want you to begin your mornings by saying "Bismillah. Today, I am by Allah's permission going to have a great day. I'm going to have a good day at school. I'm going to make one friend".

Seriously, say that out loud, in an audible voice and believe in it.

Then, do it.

Walk into your classroom with a smile on your face and a twinkle in your eyes. You need to be confident. Don't wait for them to start the conversation because then it's done on their terms. Then, you're leaving it all to their 'questions' about your jilbab because let's face it. That is the most noticeable thing about you. Instead, you start the conversation. Say something as simple as "I'm so not ready for this test...". "Oh, I read that book. It's awesome". "Any chance we're going to have a free period today?" "Your locker's got a cool sticker"....


2. Belong
You do not need your whole class to like you. You do not need everyone to be your friend in order to belong. You only need one friend. That's all it takes. Look for one other girl who needs someone to talk to/ who looks like she can use a friend. Believe me, there is another girl out there who needs someone to talk to.

You see- from my experience- high school kids are of 2 kinds.

1. Those who are running away from their problems at home and seeking school as a refuge
2. Those who are running away from school and letting their 'computers' at home be their refuge

That's the truth. Everyone's got some problem/ something that bothers them....and most people wish they could talk about their problems with others. So be willing to listen to others...and help others.

How? Again, it starts off again with some simple ice breaker or something like 'offering to help someone with their English or math homework' or offering somebody a piece of your 'brownie'. Show that person that you're someone who 'cares' and 'ready to help' :)

Also remember, you can always look for a friend in a different grade than your grade. Who ever said you have to be friends that are exactly your age/ your grade? I know when I was in 12th grade, we used to have this one girl hang out with us all the time...she was in 11th....So if you can't connect with the girls in your homeroom, that doesn't mean you won't connect with anyone.

Some websites out there suggest that you spend one week, every day of the week, trying to make one new friend. Why not? :D



3. Join or Create
Are there any clubs at your school? Being around people who share the same interests as you is bound to make your day a little more cheerful. Whether it's the reading club/ Model United Nations/ Astronomy club/ French club/ etc. go there and make a difference. You can even try to kick-start some kind of "Muslim Student Association in High school club".

4. the Girl in the Jilbab with the amazing ....
Do you realize something? Everyone in high school wants to be different. Every one wants to stand out of the crowd and 'be recognized' as someone special. You already are. So BE the girl with the jilbab who has the amazing sense of humor/ is super talented at physics. Your jilbab is something that makes you unique. You can even use this for dawah.

5. Talk to a school counselor
They are there for a reason. They can help you through this process :)

6. IF any teacher 'picks on you', don't be scared to talk to the administration. A teacher does not have the right to do that. NO matter how old they are/ what qualifications they have, teachers must respect their student's diverse backgrounds. Speak up. You can start off by telling the teacher in a private meeting that their words were offensive. If it continues, you can talk to the administration.

InshaAlah I will put this on the blog and ask our sisters to share their experiences and advice cuz I didn't go to high school in America. This is about all I can think of ...

In the meantime, darling, know that I LOVE YOU and hope things get a lot easier and better for you.

P.S. always remember to turn to Allah. Sweetie, you are never ever alone!

6 wonderful sprinkely thoughts:

LavendarClouds September 17, 2011 at 6:35 PM  

A nonmuslim friend once said, "I can't imagine someone being made fun of who is confident [about themselves, their beliefs]."

CONFIDENCE IS KEY!

Smile! Think beforehand how you would answer common questions like "why do you wear hijab?". If a social studies teacher or textbook is biased/wrong about Islam, kindly bring it up. Be happy with yourself, your life, your culture!

I've worn hijab for 4.5 years Alhammdullilah at a public school in America, and Alhamdullilah Alhamdullilah I've never been made fun of or insulted or anything. My most common question? "What's it called?" my classmates enjoy pronouncing a word in a different language...it's all about perspective and how you present yourself.

:) Good luck!

makola September 18, 2011 at 9:16 AM  

Dearest Desperately In Need Of Advice,
I hear you. This kind of experience I've gone through for quite a while now.
Little Auntie has outlined a wonderful guide, but what I really want you to know is: IT'S GOING TO BE OKAY.
It is, really.
Sure it's miserable at times. You feel like curling up in a ball and disappearing. You want to run away and keep running till you reach a point where you just cant run anymore.
But what's important is that you remain conscious of the absolute fact that Allah is there, with you, every step of the way.
I know you're all the way in another continent, but it is somewhat the same here in my part of the world.
Keep faith, smile, and be good.
Don't expect anything- when it comes, it'll be worth the surprise.

Love and salaam.

Desperately in need of advice,  September 18, 2011 at 5:20 PM  

Jazakumullahu Khairan for sharing your advice. I already feel better knowing that I have sisters who love me and care for me. May Allah reward you all and make it easy for us all. Ameen.

Hud-Hudz September 21, 2011 at 1:14 PM  

Asalamu alaikum sister,

I also go to a public high school and I experienced many problems. It's horrible, I know, but one thing that helped is to keep your head up high and show that you don't care about anyone. I was also new when I walked in because I was home schooled for two years. When I was in my last primary school, I also used to come home crying and wake up crying, it was horrible. I had no friends. But Allah helped me get through. Just keep strong trust in Allah and everything will flip around. This is a test for you sister. I'm probably going through more problems, because when you have friends in a public high-school (non-muslim), you end up falling in many traps, which has happened to me. Alhamdullilah, this Ramadan has strengthened me. Read Quran everyday and always be proud of who you are, don't let anyone bother you. Tell yourself that you don't care at that their the ones with problems, not you. I'll be more than happy to give you more. Your sister in Islam, (I pray Allah makes this easy for you) Hud-hud xox

Hud-Hudz September 21, 2011 at 1:18 PM  

My friends brother wrote these lyrics to an nasheed dedicated to people going through hard times:

Sometimes you think,
For goodness sake,
Maybe I'm just a mistake,
There may be people,
That are always on your case,
But you gotta remember,
To put a smile on your face,
I remember when my feelings where crushed,
But smiling everyday,
For me now is a must,
I know the problems keep piling,
But you gotta keep smiling,
You gotta keep smiling,
You gotta keep smiling : )

Musafiratul Jannah September 25, 2011 at 1:52 AM  

Assalamu Alaikum wa rahmatullahi t3ala wa barakatuhu,
At the moment I just wanted to say jazakumullah t3ala ahsanal jaza "Little Auntie", for being there for all of us! I am following your blog, and I've always found your advice very helpful! InshaALLAH t3ala, in the future, I will share inputs too!

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Asalamu aialkum!
Well, what do you think? You know, you're part of the team, as well. Please help a sister out and share your own advice/experiences/etc. One for all and all for one =)
P.S. I reserve the right to remove any disrespectful comment ;)

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