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Misconceptions About Single-Sex High Schools
Original illustration by Caroline Kannapell
High School

Common Misconceptions About Single-Sex High Schools

To start this article off, I will begin with a disclaimer: I chose to attend a private all-girls high school, I loved almost every minute of it, and I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything. 

 

I am from an area where private school is commonplace, and I was fortunate enough to attend one. With that being said, coming into college I was met with numerous comments and concerns about my high school life. No one simply turns the other cheek when they hear you voluntarily spent four years of your life in a Catholic all-girls school, so I am here to clear up a few misconceptions. 

 

Although my four years were unforgettable — both the positive and the negative— here are a few common questions and misconceptions that come up when discussing the wild world of private, single-sex schools.

The Drama

Most people probably think that attending a school with only girls would cause a whirlwind of drama, but in my case, that is false. With no one to impress and no one to steal your boyfriend or girlfriend, my high school experience was relatively drama-free. 

 

There was no reason for girls to act catty, because we all had a mutual agreement to be civil. There was nothing to fight over, so there was no need for pettiness. Of course, every friend group has their ups and downs, but the rumor mill was relatively dry.

The Piety

It’s no surprise that everyone assumes that Catholic girls are all holy and righteous, but in my personal case, that was far from true. Of course, there were some exceptions as there are for any normal high school. 

 

Yes, we had to wear a uniform and attend Catholic mass at least twice a month, but I would not go as far as to say that every girl was innocent. Though, the Pope’s grand-niece was in my graduating class — which is a fun fact I like to drop now and then.

Our Financial Status

I am not going to lie and say private schools are cheap — they are not. They can be especially pricey depending on the area and the quality of the school. This causes the justifiable assumption that all students who attend private schools are in higher economic classes. 

 

This can be the case for some of the students, however, a lot of the attendees in my area in particular are on scholarship or reduced tuition prices. Many private schools offer a myriad of different programs for people from all different economic classes which allows different types of people to experience private schools without financial constraints.

The Judgemental Space

Girls typically have the reputation of being very judgemental and toxic, however, my class and the classes before and after me were very accepting and open to honest conversations. 

 

My high school stressed the idea of open communication, especially with your peers, which made my transition into high school that much more welcoming. Many people believe that being surrounded by girls 24/7 would be a very suffocating environment setting, but I was met with the opposite.

The Male Interactions

A very understandable assumption I receive very often is that people expect our interactions with the opposite sex to be very limited. In my case, we had a sort of a “brother school” with whom we interacted often and participated in events with. 

 

Though we weren’t seeing them on the daily — which was actually a blessing in disguise — it is not like we were locked in a basement for four years without seeing a man. A lot of girls had guy friends and boyfriends, and with my school being located right next to Georgetown University, the men’s tennis team frequented our courts.

I have heard so many more things that people think come with attending such a school, and if I could fit them all in this article, it would take you forever to read. At the end of the day, us Catholic schoolgirls are just the same as everyone else, even if we might have a couple secrets we keep to ourselves — see you all at Kairos. 

Current Junior at PSU UP. I live right outside of DC in Bethesda, MD and I am on track to be an Advertising and Public Relations major with a minor in Business I love sitcoms, stand-up and spend my time hanging out with friends and traveling.
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