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Peacocks, Plaid, and the Pink Prison: My All-Girl School Experience

As I near the end of my first semester in college, there is nothing I miss more than the plaid skirts and pink polos dancing to Mamma Mia and High School Musical around the hallways of the most beautiful school in Miami, Carrollton School of the Sacred Heart. Though full of mental breakdowns, #IBdying, and a lack of a senior lounge, my high school experience is something I will cherish forever.

I learned much more than our Fundamental Option, whatever we were supposed to learn in TOK, and that every day was Dr. Gallagher’s birthday (Dr. Gallagher 2020) over my four years. When we all revolted with pink wigs against the school’s opposition to our classmate Ari’s pink hair, I learned that we’re stronger together. At our sophomore retreat (you know which part), I learned that forgiveness is everything. After our failure of a Christmas formal after-party, I learned that communication is key. After Carrolltones, our student-made acapella group got canceled, I learned how important it is to stand up for something you’re passionate about. During Congé, a surprise field day planned by the seniors, I learned just how special our community was and the importance of being prepared. I couldn’t have wished for a better way to figure out these valuable life lessons than with my 74 sisters. It’s all these little things that have gradually come together, creating us each into the people we are today, forever bonded by our beautiful class rings and memories.

Going to an all-girl school was the best thing that could have happened to me. It converted me from a shy, insecure girl into a strong, independent woman. I now approach life with an open mind, courageous enough to take on any challenge thrown at me. After the competitive, pressure-filled atmosphere I worked in for so long, barely anything intimidates me. I always have no problem going after what I want and I know I have a strong community of women supporting me (including my mom, my aunt, and now my little sister), no matter how far they are. And after dealing with the annoying screech from those lovely peacocks all over campus 24/7, nothing can distract me from the work I need to put in to get there.

Through the ups and downs, nothing made me happier than arriving at school not knowing what crazy thing would happen that day. Whether it was Club Conge, where we all wore heels with our uniform and partied in the bathroom instead of eating lunch, Finish the Lyrics at assembly, or our moms crashing our senior lock-in for a surprise flash mob, a day would not go on without at least one thing to take my mind off the extended essay or some other IA. We survived (most of the time) with the help of Mr. Consuegra’s cafecitos and our rant sessions with basically any teacher who would listen to how “horrible” our lives were, knowing that soon we would be moving on from our little sacré cult to bigger and harder things.

And here I am now, five months after graduation still thinking about the five goals:

  1. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a personal and active faith in God.
  2. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to a deep respect for intellectual values.
  3. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate a social awareness which impels to action.
  4. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to the building of community as a Christian Value.
  5. Schools of the Sacred Heart commit themselves to educate to personal growth in an atmosphere of wise freedom.

Honestly, those goals have become a part of me. With my sacred heart necklace and class ring on my finger always, I am reminded that:

“I am a child of the Sacred Heart. Each day, I will love as you love, study and learn, help those who need me, be a friend to all and make wise choices.”

All images courtesy of Manuela Espinosa.

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Senior at FSU from Miami, Florida double majoring in English and Political Science.
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