My Experience at an All-Girls School

High School is notoriously not a super fun time for a lot of people. It's not easy. Low self-esteem is pretty much a given for most people. My freshman year you could find me in the same place every morning, flat ironing my hair and putting on makeup long before the sun had risen. It took a solid two hours of getting ready before I felt like I could go to school, and even then, it wasn't comfortably.

I wasn't happy at the large, coed school I was attending. My parents saw this and made the executive decision to move me to a small, all-girls school in the city. I was furious but come sophomore year I found myself in a plaid skirt and a button up.

At first, it didn't seem that different other than the excessively unflattering uniform. But gradually, the time I spent getting ready in the morning started to decrease, my hair stopped being straightened, and I never had to worry about what I was wearing at all. You don't realize how much thought you put into your outfit until you don't have to worry about that anymore. A messy top knot is pretty much part of the uniform. I remember being asked one day if I “had something going on after school” when I showed up with makeup on.

People ask me if there was a lot of drama at my school and the answer is yes, of course there was. People are dramatic, especially teenagers, but it wasn't any more than at any coed school. The frustrations I had were the same as those at most small schools. A small school community can get suffocating after a while. I was definitely ready to leave by the time I graduated, but I wouldn't be the person I am if I hadn't gone there.

I became more confident, more academically driven, and happier. A community of solely women creates a different atmosphere and growing doesn't seem to be as intimidating or embarrassing. It's an intangible quality within yourself that changes when you're at an all-girls school, the focus shifts from who you seem to be to what you're capable of.

My friendships seemed more genuine, I talked about more important things, and I got more confident in the things I believed in. I felt comfortable to challenge and argue with the students and teachers around me, and that confidence in the validity of my opinion is something that I’ll carry with me throughout the rest of my career.

 

The truth is, being at an all-girls school gave me the space to examine what kind of person I was, who I wanted to be, and what I had to do to make that happen. It created an atmosphere where I felt comfortable to grow. I became the person I am because of the things I learned there, about myself and my capabilities.