It was hectic, it was crazy, it was challenging — but it was awesome, and it was home.
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I started attending an all-girls school in the 8th grade and continued through high school, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
This might seem unfathomable for some people, so I want to share some of the reasons I think all-girls schools are the best thing going.
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1. No boys allowed!
Boys go to Jupiter to get more stupider! Just kidding — kinda.
The first question I usually get about all-girls school is one of the following a) Are you all lesbians? b) How could you live without boys around? or c) How could you survive with that much drama?
To answer the first question: I’m sorry, did I say, “All-Lesbians School?” Are co-ed schools known as “Only Straight Students School?” C’mon people.
Second, you can survive without boys, trust me.
And lastly, remove said boys, and it actually takes away a lottttt of the drama. Funny how that works. #girlpower
2. I became more comfortable with myself.
Surprisingly, the uniforms helped me become more comfortable with myself — meaning I didn’t care how I looked because that’s not why I was going to school. The whole no boys thing helps with this, too (see #1).
I grew accustomed to greeting the world with no makeup, hair in a top knot, and not getting any judgment for it. When else in your life will that be acceptable? Lmk!!
My all-girls school taught me to respect others for who they are — AKA it’s not a bad thing to be a “nerd.” Own that ish! Be proud, ’cause that just means people know how intelligent you are.
Or maybe school isn’t your thing and you’re smart in other ways! That rocks, too! The people worth getting to know will respect you for that. Don’t worry girl, one day the haters will be scrambling for the chance to fetch you a latte.
4. You’ll meet sisters for life.
Even though I already had two of my own, my high school welcomed me into a community of sisters going all the way back to 1896.
My particular group of 68 amazing sisters still talks all the time in our FB group, dating back to the 6th grade. We made memories together that will last a lifetime, and I know that any of them would have my back in an instant.
Truly cannot emphasize this one enough. There were boatloads of treats for the holidays — naturally. But then there were also snacks on Eat Your Feelings Wednesday, and then on every other occasion we could invent to have an excuse to bring in food. Heaven!
6. We formed opinions and spoke our minds.
I learned not to be scared of sharing my opinions. Before switching schools, I only ever spoke in class when the teacher forced me to — it was terrifying for me. At my all-girls school, though, I was constantly challenged to speak out in class.
It was clear that all opinions and input were valid and valued, so we shared proudly. We might all look the same in our plaid kilts, but each and every one of us had our own rocking personality and story and we weren’t afraid to show it.
7. Traditions on traditions on traditions.
School isn’t just school. It comes along with traditions that have been passed down through generations and celebrations that everyone looks forward to each and every year.
They might be tough to explain to outsiders, but that’s half the fun. For example: People think it’s somewhat odd that my favorite day of the year was when the graduating seniors pelted us with candy before revealing their grade’s secrets from their time at our school.
But these traditions are what make your school unique, and your community stronger.
8. You’ll meet incredible teachers and mentors.
Now, more than half way through college, I still have high school teachers who reach out to see how I am. Back in high school, all of my teacher’s office doors (even the headmistress’) were always open.
Whether you needed help with schoolwork or something was going on outside of school, they were there as a resource. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the guidance and support of my high school teachers.
9. Feminism. Feminism. Feminism.
Whether you groaned seeing this one or proudly punched the air, hear me out. I used to dread talking to anyone about feminism and hearing about bra-burning women. But alas, no more! All-girls school made me realize what it actually means to be a feminist, and that everyone could and should show their feminist support and pride in whatever way they choose (even if its publicly burning your bra!).
Identifying as a feminist at its core means believing in equality and equal treatment for all genders — and that’s something to be proud of.
Interested? Check out this kickas Ted Talk by author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie:
10. I learned how to be weird.
Last but not least, we learned to be weird and have fun and never, ever apologize for it. Did we sing “500 Miles” every day in the middle of the senior hallway? Hell yeah! Did we create a floor-to-ceiling shrine praising everything/one from Yeats to Buddha to Justin Bieber to Bonzai trees to Cats the musical? You bet! Did we march our Chemistry teacher’s 30 ft. stuffed animal snake around the entire school while doing the Haka chant? Yeah… that happened too. Why? Could not tell you, but it was fun.