School Days




#lifestagesAt Least He Listens

7 comments | November 28th, 2011

me and a friend

(by OOC via TheGirlProject)

We first bumped into these amazing images of teenaged girls a few months back, all of which can be found in Please Read (If At All Possible): The Girl Project, by Kate Engelbrecht.

Since we both like a good cliche and happen to believe that a picture can actually be worth 1000 words, we'll be featuring a handful of images from the book over the next week.  We're hoping you'll share with us what words (even if not 1000 of them) come to mind...what they make you think of, and how they make you feel.

Our first reactions here @OOC HQ, will serve as the titles for these posts.

To check out more of The Girl Project and Kate's work, please also check out:  

#lifestagesFeels Like A Failure

11 comments | November 17th, 2011

Chestist typewriter 2

(story submitted by Liz, a Chestist)

I feel like a failure.

All the time.

Despite the fact that I pull solid As in half my classes and mostly Bs in the others (a few C+s to date). I look at my 4.0 roommate, my friends with jobs and great grades, and I look at myself, struggling to pass some classes and excelling without trying in others. I just see failure.

I can't see that I'm a good person, or that I've known what career I'm made for since I was 11.

I can't see that I help my friends with their struggles. I just see failure. {end story}

Little can hate on your happy more than comparisons that serve no purpose other than, seemingly, to hate on your happy. 

How often do you compare yourself to others? 

When - and why - do you do that?  It's worth taking a look at, so we all have a better sense of what not to do.  Let's #discuss.


#lifestagesHer Diagnosis: Bipolar Disorder

5 comments | November 16th, 2011

chestist threads

(story submitted by Euna, A Chestist)

This is one of those stories that reminds us all that no matter how dark today, tomorrow's always around the corner.  Let's get right into this,  sent us some months back by Euna, a chestist and one of you:

When I was 11, I started cutting. Stupid, I know.

When people think of a cutter they see an emo kid listening to The Cure slicing into their wrists saying, "No one understands me!" For me, I was just a normal kid. I realized, with a pair of scissors, how amazing the blood looked as it trailed down my finger. It was an accident at first, but I continued to do it. I became obsessed with the pain, because it filled some infinitesimal hole I felt had burrowed it's way deep into my heart.

By the time I was 13, I had multiple scars on my arms and legs. I fell into rapid depressions that would last for days at a time, and I hardly ever went to school. My teenage years were filled with these depressions, as well as periods of ...

#lifestagesGET MAD

55 comments | November 15th, 2011

green eyed

(story by Mir from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

So I told you a while ago that I took my daughter to see The Vagina Monologues, and even though it was slightly uncomfortable, I thought it was important. When we saw it back in February, I was totally gung-ho about auditioning for the show for next year, but life tends to get in the way, you know? Auditions are coming up soon. I'd thought (more than once) that I really just don't have time to take this on, right now.

But I have a daughter. I have a teenage daughter and she adores me one minute and hates me the next. She's looking to me for guidance and pushing me away, and despite how busy I've been, and how I keep thinking that maybe next year I'll be less busy, a nagging thought in the back of my head has said "Do it now."

Maybe it's related, maybe it's not, but yesterday my daughter was subjected to sexual harassment at school. Yesterday my 13-year-old was SEXUALLY HARASSED at her MIDDLE SCHOOL. Take a moment with that, if you ...

#lifestagesEffing Rumors

3 comments | November 14th, 2011

mean girls

(story submitted by Kylan, a Chestist)

Message Body:

When I was 14 years old, my best friend decided to spread rumors around my whole school about me. Saying I had slept with some guy I just met, got pregnant, then aborted the baby. I did NONE of those things.

But the school believed the rumors, I guess lies were more fun then the truth. Girls we yelling at me, punching me, spitting on me, calling me names.. boys where sexually harrasing me, pushing me into walls, calling me names. I got really depressed with no friends and the school hating me. I grew suicidal.

Then I started talking to a counselor and got help. I was a victim of girl on girl meanness, and I'm not the only one. But I am one who survived it. And i say that lightly. Although I am ok now, I remember what state I was in. Life's tuff for everyone, no girl or guy has to make it tougher for anyone. No one deserves it. never will.  {end story.}  

Remember that old "sticks and stones may break my bones but words ...

#lifestagesIt Sucks Growing Up

5 comments | November 12th, 2011

50s chestist

(submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

There's a song that sings "the first days are the hardest part."  Unfortunately, for a lot of us, the first days can last all the way through High School.  They did for her:

It sucks growing up. It sucks even more when you're a girl who *gasp* dared to like learning and had the nerve to be intelligent. That was me through high school. Shunned because I actually use my brain and enjoy it. I have never been so relieved as when I got to college and found other people like me.  {end story}

Were school days hard for you; were you one of the cool kids; or did you just float through as if on a lazy river? 

How do you think those days influenced who you are now, if at all? 

Any advice to share with those going through it (whatever it is) now?  Go on, break out that yearbook, let's revisit the past, and #discuss.  XO


#lifestagesPutting ’em in Their Place

19 comments | November 8th, 2011


(story by Mir, from Woulda Coulda Shoulda)

I have a soft spot in my heart for bullies. This wasn't always the case, of course. Nor am I some sort of Mother Teresa figure, now. It's just that time and age have taught me that happy, fulfilled people don't behave that way. People are mean because they hurt. As a theoretical concept, I sympathize. As an actual---say, as a kid beating up on my kid---well, my patience isn't quite so great. But I try.

Me, I was bullied as a kid. But the truth is that I also was sometimes the bully, myself. There is something intoxicating about having the power to wound someone when you, yourself, have been badly damaged. I get it. As a child, you don't think it through that way, of course. All you know is that it feels powerful. Just like all you know when it's being inflicted on you is that it hurts like hell.

This insight---if you can even call it that---came long after 99% of the situations wherein I needed it. My ...

#bodiesToo Young

9 comments | August 29th, 2011

new chestist

(story submitted anonymously, by a Chestist)

My 11 year old daughter asked me for an underwire bra the other day! She's starting to develop and wears cute, appropriate little bras that provide some coverage.


I explained that underwire (like a cellphone) is a need, not a want. When the need is there, I will review it and make the decision. Just because your friends all have the thing, doesn't mean you have to have it too.


Of course, I remember having the same discussion with my mom. Turns out, I STILL don't need underwire! I've seen some "teen" bras that look like something from the old Fredrick's catalog. [end of story.]


You ever have to wrestle with your mom (or dad) about wearing something you thought was the look - which they didn't see the same way?  You ever have the experience of not letting your kid wear something they wanted to because you didn't think it was appropriate for the age or occassion?  Where do you/will you draw the line?  Our battles with fashion are hard enough when they're just us against our clothes.  Total buzzkill when kids and ...

#lifestagesGive Me A Break

6 comments | May 6th, 2011


(submitted by OOC reader Ashley)

"I wish people would just STOP asking me what I'm planning on doing for the rest of my life! Once I figure that out I'll freaking fill you in okay. Yes, I am graduating soon but that doesn't mean I'm any closer to knowing what my future holds. Give me a break. Ahhh deep breaths.. everything will work out, won't it?" Yeah, why the eff do people do this? But anyway, how do you overcome your anxieties about your future?