Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
Life > Experiences

How 14 Years of Catholic School Affects My Everyday Life

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Hawaii chapter.

“Wait what am I going to wear tomorrow?” I thought to myself the day before my first day of college classes. Frantically I called a friend to help me pick an outfit. “It’s been an hour, and you still haven’t picked anything?!?”, she said to me. “I don’t know how, I’ve never done this before!” Panic settled in and I found myself sitting in a pile of clothes in my dorm room explaining how I had gone to private school all my life and never had to pick an outfit except on weekends and school breaks. This was the first time I realized how 14 years of catholic school can, will, and has affected my everyday life. 

4 of those years were in an all-girls high school. Although extremely rigorous and challenging, I met my 8 best friends (“my sisters”), made lifelong memories, and learned life lessons that will with no doubt stick with me forever, I had forgotten what it’s like to have guys in a classroom. I remember the first weeks of college “getting used to the male presence” as one of my friends said. A collective “no!” would come from the group when asked but slowly a “yes!” came along! I thought I figured it out. I thought I re-learned how to learn in a co-ed environment, but I was wrong. A midterm Spanish project required me to work with a pareja (partner) assigned by the professor. “It’ll be fine, it will probably be the girl that sits next to me.” I was wrong. “GUYS HELP ME!!! IT’S A MALE!!!” I texted my friends. It would be the first project I worked on with a guy since middle school. After some explanation, I received some helpful and not-so-helpful advice and questions from my friends.

“Good luck!” 

“You’re gonna ace it!”

“Sounds like a fun project!”

“Wait a minute, is he cute???” 

“When is the wedding?? We’ll be there”

“The group approves of him already!”

We passed the project with flying colors. “That wasn’t so bad! I’m over the learning curve!!” I thought to myself. 

When people hear I went to Catholic school for so long they immediately think and said to me “You must have money!!” or “You must be super religious!.” All false. I was fortunate to attend the schools I did and have the experiences I had as well. These stereotypes, while true sometimes, are most of the time false. Many students receive financial aid and some are not even religious at all. What you see in movies and TV shows are often stereotypes…don’t believe everything you see!

To say that those 14 years will forever stick with me is an understatement. To say that me and my friends went through a major learning curve adjusting from high school to college is an understatement. To say that I am a better student and person because of it… understatement. So thank you mom for the many dollars sacrificed and time spent. Thank you to my friends for relating to and talking about the struggles we all shared. But thank you to my younger self for sticking with it in every challenge and obstacle.

Hi!! My name is Chelsea and I am a first-year journalism student at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. I hope to go into sports journalism after graduating! In my free time, I love listening to music, walking, exploring the islands, and trying new foods!