Being the “cry-baby” at school has a very negative affect on your street-cred with the other pupils. Definitely not very cool. So I never really had many friends—maybe three or four at each of the various schools I attended, two of whom I stay in touch with today. Getting a girlfriend was nigh on impossible, though I didn’t make life easy for myself at the same time.
For my second high school, from when I was 14 until 16, I went to a boarding school that was a couple of hours or so away from my new home town. The other schools in my town were not particularly appetising options, and also I really did want a completely new start. Of course, I went and cried on my first day, which made this “new start” pretty much redundant straight away. By the time I was in my final year though I was getting better, but as you can imagine, boarding school can be a pretty harsh environment for a sensitive kid. I remember one time, in the showers, a couple of the other kids took my clothes and towel and made fun of me for some time as I was crying away. That whole episode helped make me want to avoid showers for sometime so I wasn’t deemed the most hygienic of students–which meant more teasing. But I think overall the whole place did, eventually at least, help me grow up and grow that “thick skin” the primary school teachers had talked about.
I remember having a crush on a few girls at the school. The first of whom… Kate… One day when I was alone in my dormitory, in the spur of the moment I decided to write “I love Kate” on a paper aeroplane and fly it out the window (the dorm was on the fourth floor)… nobody would know it was me… Though of course, stupid me put my head out the window to see where it landed and a guy who picked it up was swift to spot me and make the conclusion. Talk about making life hard for yourself, and I guess I kind of warranted the inevitable backlash and teasing from that. I never did get a girlfriend, nor kissed a girl, while I was there.