My All-Girls High School Experience Formed Me into A Feminist

For high school, I was fortunate enough to attend an all-girls school. Despite what many think, this was not the stereotypical, catty, all-girls high school experience prominent across movies and TV shows. In fact, I believe that my time at my high school helped shape me into the strong woman that I am today. Here are the top three lessons my high school taught me that helped form me into a feminist. 

Lesson 1: Feminism is not a Dirty Word

The first lesson I learned from my all-female high school was that being a feminist is not a bad thing. Going into high school, I really knew relatively little about feminism, except for hearing the negative jokes about feminists. However, after about a year at my high school, I began to see just how important it is to have this viewpoint. Many of my classes across a variety of subjects added a feminist lens to them. In some classes, we looked at the actual content through a feminist lens, whereas in others the teacher would just add life lessons that clearly had a feminist edge. Whatever the context, the message of the importance of being a strong woman clearly got across and has stuck with me to this day. 

Lesson 2: The Importance of Mentors

From the start of my experience, I knew that one of my school’s goals was to shape the students into strong women who would someday go out and change the world. One of the primary ways they did this was by bringing in examples of women, particularly alumnae, who were already working toward making the world a better place. For example, we had STEM Days where women in science would come in and speak to us about their career paths, give us career advice, and give us advice on how to be a strong woman in general. Through this experience, I was able to gain real-life examples of women who are out there changing the world and connect with them so that I could someday, hopefully, do the same. 

Lesson 3: Speak Up for Yourself

Lastly, both because of the small class sizes and the all-female nature of my classes, I never felt hesitant or nervous to participate in class discussions. From this, I can now see that this is definitely one of the benefits of all girls schools: get girls in the conversation in their high schools so that they continue to be a part of the conversation throughout their careers. This value is one that all women should be aware of for it is so important for women to be willing to speak up, especially in their professions, and take a seat at the table. 

I am forever grateful for my time at my all-girls high school. This experience was pivotal to my becoming a feminist, and I owe it all to my teachers and fellow strong women.