Amanda Ashby, Author of You Had Me at a Halo and Zombie Queen of Newbury High
Finishing High School (or When Nice People Make Bad Clothing Decisions)
When Diana first asked me to take part in her blogoversary, I was thrilled, not just because anyone with an alliterated name is okay by me, but also because finishing high school can be hard work (actually, so can blogging for that matter) so I just wanted to say a big congrats all round!!!!!
Anyway, since the theme is about what happens after you finish school I thought I’d better take a trip down memory lane. The time was 1985 (does that date me?), the place was the western suburbs of Brisbane, Australia and the mood was positive. After all, not only had I managed to get into the University that I wanted to study English and Journalism, but I also had a whole summer of fun in front of me. Of course there was the small niggle that none of my close friends were going to the same University as me, but for most of that summer, I just ignored it. Another thing I ignored was what I should wear for my first day. Now this isn’t as strange as it seems, since I spent my entire school life having to wear a uniform so the idea of being able to wear whatever I wanted, was slightly foreign. It was also when things started to get messy.
You see not all of the eighties was about Wham T-shirts and leg warmers and when I was a teenager there was quite a lot of gothic/second shopping going on so on my first day, I lovingly picked out my outfit. It went something like: some old boxer shorts worn as regular shorts, a retro mustard-colored polo shirt that I’d found in some charity shop for about fifty cents, with a pair of leather gladiator sandals and my favorite ancient leather belt (which, for the record, I still own). Feeling pretty pleased with myself, I headed off to my first day, excited about joining the liberating, bohemian environment of Uni (as we called it in Australia).
Unfortunately, turns out that no one else got the memo and when I arrived (friendless remember) I discovered that everyone else was wearing big hair, big shoulder pads and those stupid silver fob chains that were so popular back then. In other words, in a sea of yuppies I looked like something that Kurt Cobain’s cat might’ve dragged in. Humiliating doesn’t even come close to cracking it and I was pretty close to wishing that I was back in the safety of High School again.
Thankfully, by the end of the day I had the good fortune to meet my wonderful friend Delia, who didn’t even come from Brisbane but somehow already managed to know EVERYBODY. Anyway, for whatever reason she seemed to think it was perfectly normal to wear retro mustard polo shirts and boxer shorts for the first day and the more we hung out, the more I discovered that between those yuppies in their chambray shirts and matching brogues, there was actually loads of other weirdly dressed students, all excited to finally be able to express themselves anyway that they wanted to. By the end of the month we had managed to get quite a group together and we all spent the next three years having the time of our lives—something we still reminisce about now!!!!!!
So my advice to anyone leaving school and taking their next step. Be brave. Be fearless. Wear weird clothes and meet your own Delia and Co. Trust me, it’s worth it!
To be with a chance to win a copy of Zombie Queen of Newbury High or my first novel, You Had Me at Halo, just tell me about your worst ‘first day’ outfit ever!!!!!
Read my review for Zombie Queen of Newbury here! A very light and funny novel for zombie fans!
Giveaway Item(s): A signed copy of Zombie Queen of Newbury High or You Had Me at a Halo
# of Winners: 1
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