When I started out my high school experience, I was not fully aware of the benefits of an all girls school. Looking back now, I am so lucky to have gone to the academy I did. It challenged me to work diligently, encouraged me to meet new people and inspired me to reach my fullest potential. These are the benefits of an all girl’s school that I see.
When I tell people I went to an all girl’s high school, they begin to interrogate me about the cattiness and drama. But contrary to popular belief, we don’t have more than a normal high school dose. No matter what school you end up at, there will be drama; it’s inevitable. But one benefit of an all girl’s school that I found was that the environment was full of kind girls who weren’t really looking for trouble. The environment was definitely a key factor in my decision to attend there.
Although we wore uniforms at my school, there was a casual air about the students. There wasn’t any pressure to wear make-up or do your hair. The girls who came to school with make-up on were either going to a dance after school or had a date. Not having to worry about how you look when going to school made it easier to focus on academics and time with friends. What’s more, on the few dress down days we had, everyone wore comfy clothes to school not worrying what the guys would think.
My class was like one big family. Sure, I didn’t get along with everyone but it’s easier in an all girl’s environment to show attachment. We had an annual all girl’s dance party which was always a crowd-pleaser. We had Charity Day, our version of a pep rally, that pulled the school together as one. I liked Charity Day the best because we were able to kind-heartedly mock the teachers, administrators or rules of the school in the midst of a talent show and various games. It doesn’t matter what year you graduated in, you remember these staples of high school that bring smiles to your days.
Without the distractions of boys, it’s easier for many students to commit to their studies. Think about the girls who want to excel in a non-girl-like field, for example robotics, having the opportunity and the encouragement to do so. Having guys in class doesn’t necessarily contribute to lack of participation but it may make some girls self-conscious. The boys from our brother school came over each day after school so it wasn’t as if we were cut off from the other gender entirely. But rather, we were able to focus during school on our classes.
All girls schools are most definitely private. Unlike public school, the calendar works differently with more leeway to have days off or special schedules. My high school was run on block scheduling which meant that we had four, eighty-minute-long classes a day for half of the year. Much like college, we had a winter break between the two semesters, and I don’t mean Christmas break. Not all single-sex schools have block scheduling but most of the time they are private, which means they may have a different schedule than your local public one.
I’ve heard the statement that all girls schools only create feminists and foster that mentality. My experience was that we were encouraged to try our best. We were challenged to push past what we thought our limits were. My school’s motto was “the hope of the harvest lies in its seed.” With women as about half of the population, it’s important to instill a desire for change, the education to create effective plans and the confidence to take opportunities that come your way.
Having attended four years of a single-sex education, I can see the difference it had on me. I’m more confident in the classroom setting, willing to ask questions until I understand and go the extra mile with my work. But it’s not to impress a teacher, a boy, or my parents. The work I do is for me. Outside of the classroom, I am more sure of myself and willing to take initiative in cases of emergency or crisis.
My experience at an all girls school made me into the woman I am today. Though most students won’t dream of giving up their high school career for a single-sex education, there are many benefits that accompany one. Plus, you get to find out for yourself all about the all girls dance parties, adventures in class, and what happens behinds those doors. Would you consider going go to an all girls school? If you did, what did you think?