What internal conflict does Malala face when she imagines that the girls at her new school treat her differently?

When Malala imagines that the girls at her new school treat her differently, she faces internal conflict over adjusting to her well-known status as an activist and the challenges of making new friends.

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After Malala has had numerous surgeries and has recovered sufficiently to leave the hospital, she and her family stay in Birmingham, England. The family moves first into an apartment and then a rented house with a garden. When Malala starts school in Birmingham, she must get used to differences in...

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After Malala has had numerous surgeries and has recovered sufficiently to leave the hospital, she and her family stay in Birmingham, England. The family moves first into an apartment and then a rented house with a garden. When Malala starts school in Birmingham, she must get used to differences in curriculum, educational methods, and technology. Because she does not know any of the other girls and misses her friends back home, she is lonely. Her perception is that the other girls see her primarily as a “girls’s rights activist,” which impedes their ability to think of her as a regular person.

It takes time to make good friends like I had at home, and the girls at school here treat me differently. People say, "Oh, that’s Malala" – they see me as "Malala, girls’ rights activist."

She describes some attributes of her ordinary self, “just Malala,” whom her schoolmates back home had always known. These features include being double-joined, having a love of telling jokes and drawing pictures, and having a tendency to quarrel with her brother and her best friend.

Although she knows that the process of making friends is largely a matter of time, she is also aware of the group dynamics that are common to school classes. Part of fitting in will require her to figure out who exemplifies the specific types of girl with which she is familiar. The types she identifies include those who are “well behaved,” “beautiful,” “shy,” or “notorious.”

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