When we emailed our colleagues to ask if they'd be willing to contribute snippets from their teenage diaries for an article, most replied with a flat out no. Others were more creative: 'love the idea, but hell no' and 'mine's really boring' (a classic excuse to get out of a cringe-worthy exercise). One even said she'd burned hers after her parents read them and they'd discovered what she'd been up to (it wasn't good).
But what is it about teenage diaries that, even years after we've written them, they still have the ability to make us remember exactly how we felt when we made the entry? There's so much angst condensed into a few paragraphs that you wonder how you ever passed one GCSE, let alone 11 of them, when you were more concerned about looking at David Taylor's legs in P.E.
Luckily, a few of us obliged and we have 10 for you to enjoy(?) below. Expect plenty of exclamation marks.
*Note: some of the names have been changed to avoid embarrassment.
Fancy contributing to our teenage diaries piece? We won't be publishing your name, so ALL ENTRIES WILL BE ANONYMOUS. All we need from you is the date of the entry and your age at the time of writing. Send your pieces to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I know you're reading this - or maybe you've skipped this part and gone straight to the juicy bits. I think invading someone's privacy is wrong, no matter what your relationship is with them. I also think if you can't trust your mum, you can't trust anyone. If I know you've read my diary I don't ever think I'll trust you fully again. And that's a very sad thing for me to realise. Please don't make it real.
Just close the damn book.
Author's note: The preface, incidentally, was a very succinct: Live fast. Drink loads. Party hard. Evidently my motto at 14.
Date: 28th June
Why can't Matthew fancy me? It's not fair. I'm not going to get my hopes up but it's just I really like him. AND LAUREN'S GOING OUT WITH HIM. Whenever I fancy someone, he's usually going out with someone I know. I wish Matthew would dump Lauren. I'm trying not to be so obvious like last time. I nearly cried when I found out he was going out with her. I think I felt like Tamera when her heart was bruised because she loved Michael. But what am I supposed to do?
Date: 12th October
Dear Diary, sorry I didn't write. I'll fill you in now. On Thursday in German I was sitting with Ella and Olivia and Olivia said to Anna 'what are you wearing to the disco', and then I said 'what disco?' and then Ella said 'ha ha, you've not been invited', and I felt really bad after that. So, the next day Olivia said 'oh I wish you were coming' so she asked Laura Piper (who's having the disco) if I could come. And she said yes. But to cut a long story short, the disco was crap and it was only us who turned up and NO boys just year 8s. And Ella didn't even show up! I hate Ella! I don't care if she knows I don't like her.
[An obsession with Daniel]
Date: December 4th
Louise is a slut! She came to school flashing around a love bite that Craig Baden gave her last night at Sam’s house. The whole year knew in six minutes flat. I still fancy Daniel.
Date: December 7th
All this Daniel Beckenham stuff is really getting out of control. I’ve even been counting the number of times I’ve seen him. 8. This is ridiculous. Me and Katy were watching all the boys get out of the swimming pool from the sports hall today. You can see through, all the doors are made of glass. Daniel got out. He was wearing black Bermuda shorts. He looked very thin and pale and gorgeous. I’ve just though, I must stop talking about Daniel before someone guesses.
Date: December 8th
Katy’s birthday. I got her a pair of silver hoops with cats hanging off them. I did it, I didn’t talk about Daniel at all. Not to anyone. I only saw him three times.
Date: 13th April
I can do it and I will. Fuck to 80’s apathy. I will do whatever I want with my life! Kurt was a rockstar! He did it. But I won’t end up like him. I can change the world if I want to and I can! I was part of grunge. People will remember it! Will grunge die with Kurt Cobain? Even if it dies it will be remembered. How could he? Poor Courtney. Poor Frances Bean. She’ll never know her daddy.
Author's note: This entry is in much larger and more scrawled handwriting than the surrounding entries. There are also tear stains on the pages. News of Cobain’s suicide broke on April 8th, but, if I remember correctly, the 13th was when the day of his death was reported as being April 5th – my birthday. As yet I have not changed the world, but I am still alive.
Date: 25th January
Yesterday, Jess came round and we stayed up watching Romeo+Juliet till 2 then we chatted and then we watched a film called Halloween. We nearly cacked ourselves screaming, it wasn't that scary. Well, I didn't think so but I screamed just the same. Life's still crap. But we did go to see Titanic today. Leo looks really gorgeous as usual. It was a sad ending but I was expecting that I've already seen him die once before anyway and I'm not bothered.
Dear Diary, here is what's been happening recently. Fran went out with Nick, then they broke up - well she actually got dumped by him. But then she started going out with JP, but then he started two-timing her with another girl Helen. Grace (Fran's best friend) said she didn't think Helen would do that with JP or do that to Fran but she was wrong! Nick, after dumping Fran, then decided he like me! He then decided he didn't fancy me, but then I liked him! And me... I WENT OUT WITH PETER! WOW, I actually did it! It happened after we went to a party and Peter was flirting with me and realised that he fancied me. So eventually he rang me up and asked me out after going to the youth club on Friday night. This is how it happened:
Peter: "Hello, can I speak to xxx"
My sister: "yeah, hang on"
'Peter: "Er hi, xxx, it's me Peter."
Me: "Er, hi"
Peter: Then starts to explain that he had to take home David and Eddie because they'd got really drunk and stoned at the club and he had to take them home. blah, blah, blah. He then started saying goodnight to his mum and dad (strange boy) and then... "Er, xxx, will you go out with me?
Date: 27th June
It’s taken me until now to write up what happened on Friday evening. Mum said she was going out and wouldn’t be back until about 11.30 and I could stay at home on my own. I was planning to go out and get totally pissed and go home about 10.45 to get sober before mum came home. Bloody Judith, her friend, had a car crash and was too shaken to go out. So I said we were all going round to Nicole’s and could I have £2 for pizza.
Author's note: I can’t believe what a callous little cow I was. And how little idea I had about how long it takes to metabolise alcohol.
Back to school list:
The Beatnik Chick in Hairspray
The blonde assistant in Rowfers
D’arcy from The Smashing Pumpkins
Date: 15th March
On Saturday I saw Grace, we're all growing apart, she's so tall now about 5'10''. I bet her and David would go really well together. We also saw Greg (stress), but I don't think he saw me I hope. We then saw Kate and Laurie and they were wearing Adidas popper trousers. I also saw some year 9s from last year, I think one of them even went out with David. God, I can't believe how much I fancied him. Then on Friday there was a gig with Tom's band! Guess who was going?! David. All my friends were joking about how they were going to snog him. Now onto more serious stuff. Anna thinks she's pregnant. Basically, she lost her virginity but then she said the guy she slept with thinks there was a hole in the condom. But then she told one of the girls at school and that girl told the head. But then when she was asked by the teachers, she said she lied! But what if she IS pregnant? What will she do? But then what if she really is lying? Oh bollocks. If she finds out she is pregnant, I'm telling mum. At the end of the weekend we saw the Reduced Shakespeare Co. it was really funny.
Author's note: I had the ability to write about really serious, grown-up stuff and then do a total u-turn and start talking about boys again. Oh hormones.