Sunday, 20 June 2010

You Need a U.S.P. + Friendship Politics

I know what you're thinking,
a what? 

It stands for 'unique selling point'.

Something that's different about you, that really stands out. 

This came up the other day, when talking to my brother about him simply HAVING to take up a hobbie. We've been trying for years, trust me. It's gone from trying to get him to play tennis, starting guitar lessons at school, forcing him into Judo classess and countless attempts at playing football outside of just kicking a ball about at breaktime.

All have failed, absolutely misarebly.

So sitting in a coffee shop, my sister and I tried to convince him to find his 'USP' as my sister called it.

"What's different about you? What stands out? What are people going to think, 'wow I wish I could do that!' about you?"

He protested. Apparently being amazing at 'COD' is an acceptable USP in his eyes.

In the end we decided on a street dancing group. I offered to go along with him, put my sister protested.

"This has be his thing Fizz, his USP."

So, it's all about being unique. Having something special about you. This is, ignoring the fact that thousands of young people across the country attend street dancing classes.

We couldn't say our USP was being able to create a tower out of matchsticks because although it may be unique it's "too unique." It's doesn't fit into being a 'USP', whereas playing tennis does.

New ideas for blog posts pop into my head everyday, there's something I feel I just have to write about. But, when I think about it almost a quarter of them are to do with individuality, but at the same time, fitting in.

Maybe it's because of how old I am. At thirteen, going on fourteen, it's almost what my life is about at the moment.

Although I want to be my own person, there's something stopping me. Partly, it's my friends and ridiculously, even more so, my peers. And because of this, I don't really know who I am yet.

I attend a relatively small secondary school, with 800+ pupils (this is not including the boys school, which would make the total 1500+) and although this is not massive it is by no means minute.

 I don't know over half the people than attend my school - possibly over three quarters. However, I'm still scared about coming across 'too weird' or 'too stupid' infront of them, even if I'm never going to talk to them.

Infront of my friends, however, I should be totally at peace with being myself - you say? Well, not really. JH is probably the only friend I have at this point in time I'm not scared saying stuff that others would pass of as 'gay' and can give her all my true opinions without considering I may come across as 'pushy' because she doesn't see (or chooses to ignore the faults in me) and I do the same back to her.

I should surrond myself with friends like that, but it's hard. Don't get my wrong, I love my current friendship group and while they're good for a laugh and we share secrets there are too many 'friendship politics' and I'm sick of it. Its all about saying the right things, or knowing when to give my point of view without upsetting someone, or even knowing what I should say my point of view is (even when I don't really think it).

But sometimes I get it wrong.

I'm thirteen, for gods sake. I'm not going to be perfect. I'll say things that sound stupid, my friends and I will have conflicting view points, I'll fight my point of view but the problem is one thing I say can be blown totally out of proportion - even by the best of friends.

I never know what to think, what to say and when to say it. What opinions are prejudiced and which are uncalled for. When I should mind my own business, and when I was wrong for not backing someone up. It seems that speaking your mind is not poltically correct.

Another problem, is that people want to be a 'name'. Year 7? Eurgh, that wannabe annoying girl. Year 8? Oh yeah, there's that girl with the orange skin and the one who said that horrible thing about the orange skin girl. Year 9? The one with the bleach blonde hair and her sidekick with the dark eyeliner. The list goes on.

It seems to me that everyone thinks they're 'different' and their friends are just 'so weird' which of course means no one is 'different', or 'weird'. I notice this most in the people with 'names', the 'popular' crowd. Because, as much as they say they are, they're not different in my eyes.

It's all about being individual, but at the same time being cool and fitting in. It's like being 'indie'. It's all about standing out, or really, blending in with all the other 'indie kids' out there.

They say the most unique people are the most well known, but I'd disagree. I'd say the girls who get 100% in every test, wear Gap hoodies and tracksuits to non-uniform day (just because it's more practical for doing lunchtime sports clubs) and are completely invisible are the most unique. But why?

Because they don't care. They are in no way mixed up with school/friendship politics, they are always happy and most of all comfortable in their own skin. They don't care about what other people think of them, and because of this people don't bother thinking - or saying - anything about them. They'll wear what they like and say what they like. They're not rude or pushy, simply children like children should be.

That's what I want, and I wish I could have. Envy, not jelously I'd call this - because I'm envious of their simple life but I'm not jealous because I know it wouldn't suit me. I'm grateful for the friends I have, because they're amazing people, but I'm not grateful for the way everything seems to be high school politics in my social circle.

JH isn't part of my 'social group' but she knows alot about it, so whenever I hang out with her, it's a relief. I can get away from the politics, or let out all my 'political worries' to her and she will just agree and understand.

I didn't know where this was going when I started writing it, I don't know where it's gone, and it probably sounds like a big fat mess. But I'm glad I wrote it, now it's off my chest.

- FQ x

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