Grade nine was a time of many changes for me, some of which are as recent as only two months ago.
I was in a new pool of people, picked for the IB program, faced with the chance to start again.
I buckled under the pressure.
Friends were even harder to come by in this environment, where most of the people I knew were in the regular part of the school. I didn't join any clubs or teams, more out of fear than anything else.
Many were friendly, and I did my level best to return the favour. To my surprise, I've still managed to make a somewhat good amount of acquaintances despite my withdrawn persona.
Yay, small victory there. Only the quality of the people I met that allowed for that, nothing really on my part.
But some spot through second semester I stopped taking the hijab. I still can't really explain what it was that motivated me to do so, except for the rejection of the responsibility of being the perfect Muslim example for other people to use to scope the rest of the population.
And I just don't like the fact that women wear the veil nowadays whereas men have practically abandoned the hat-type thing (taqiyah) that is also part of Islam.
Anyways, I do have moments when I miss the veil and wish I had never left it, but I know the importance of taking away the proverbial barrier that kept me from any form of social interaction.
The hijab itself isn't a barrier, but I was using it as one. I hid behind it, and I am ashamed of that.
That was why things had to change.
I drifted along for the entire year, slacking off but still maintaining an above-ninety average.
Now I have truly grasped the importance of taking hold of every opportunity that is given to you, and hope to improve my habits this coming school year.
This summer has passed somewhat uneventfully. I had summer school for the first time (just to free up a class next year, I didn't fail!) and it was booooring.
And it was Ramadan at the same time, so I was fasting from four a.m. to nine p.m. and literally counting down the minutes.
Move forward another few lazy weeks and we reach August 20, 2013.