Growing up, I never understood the point of an all-girls school. If we want to empower women so they feel like they’re equally as capable as men, why separate us? I had always thought the best day of my life would be when I throw out my sailor-style uniform to go to a coed school; I’ve never realized how much my all-girls education has shaped me as a person. But, throughout my four years in high school, I began to see the significant impact my all-girls grammar school had on me — I had taken it for granted.
1. Talking about periods is not “weird.”
Talking about periods was never uncomfortable when I was constantly surrounded by girls. In society, discussing menstruation is a taboo, which never made sense to me. We all get ’em, so why be embarrassed?
2. Always put your girlfriends first.
This one speaks for itself.
3. Self-love is okay!
People often see self-love as self-absorption, but loving yourself doesn’t mean you have a “huge ego.”
4. Never be afraid of speaking your mind.
My school’s motto — to “educate, encourage and empower girls” — celebrates girls’ voices; it teaches us to never be afraid to use them. Girls are always judged for having too strong of an opinion; but, having this in mind throughout high school taught me to speak my mind without fear.
5. I have never doubted my capabilities.
I never had to deal with the girls vs. boys mentality in school. The thought that I can’t achieve what a man can never crossed my mind.
Without the pressure to conform to society’s stereotypical expectations of what a woman should be doing, the idea that women were thought to be less capable never fazed me — even once I was in a coed classroom. While anyone can learn all of these concepts in a gender-mixed school, having female empowerment as such a central part of my education has engrained these lessons in me forever.