My All-Girls Catholic High School 'Prepared' Me For College

How My Small, All-Girls Catholic High School 'Prepared' Me For College

Embrace the bad, as the good will follow.

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Coming from a small, all-girls Catholic school I knew exactly what I wanted in my college experience. If I could use a specific analogy to describe my high school I would compare it to being sheltered inside a snow globe; meaning, it was a bubble from the outside world in which the faculty were there to help and guide each student along with their four-year path. Unlike my town's huge public school where you could exist without anyone knowing your name or whereabouts; this was irrevocably impossible to go about at such a small private school like mine. So this leads me to the question you are probably wondering, did I enjoy my high school experience? Absolutely not. The amount of religious persuasion, controlling uniform guidelines, hypocritical tendencies, and catty girls contributed to my overall high school experience.

In the name of the father and son, my school instilled in me the crucial importance of religion in a young ladies life. I am not saying this is a problem, as I consider myself quite a religious person myself; having attended religion classes from kindergarten to giving out the Eucharist at daily masses and serving on my church's parish council. However, there comes a point where religious persuasion is overreaching and controlling! I specifically recall my school inviting nuns into our big lecture hall to indoctrinate students to believe and abide by certain Catholic doctrine statements. I recognized I attended a Catholic school, hence, there was an ultimate goal to "spread God's word," however, when it comes to doing so there should be a limit! When these nuns came in to talk to us it was nothing but a "sisters act", in fact, preaching, drilling, and chastising took place making one want to stray away from the religion altogether.

I understand that a school dress code allows for the reduction of distraction, but this was at an age where I felt the need to express my individuality. It was as if the faculty deemed all of their students to be one and the same; which produced an aura of bleakness. The general dress code rules of my high school were that the kilts are worn had to be a credit card width from the top of the knee, no outside school apparel, and shoes must be either running shoes or Sperrys. Everyone looked remotely the same and if you were to defy the odds, standing out, you were quick to be shunned. Now, one would think that faculty at such a Catholic high school would be judgment free and quick to forgive, but this was far from the case! In fact, not once but many times whilst walking through the crowded hallways of school I witnessed teachers and even worse advisors state horribly mean things about their students to other staff members. These instances really denounce the Christian message that God loves one no matter what their wrongdoings may be, hence, my high school might as well denounce the Catholic recognition they hold so high above their heads because they do not follow nor abide by God's words themselves.

Attending a small, homogeneous, exclusive private school in Greenwich created a catty atmosphere of rich girls who constantly rejoiced in gossip and cliques. Although my school embraced diversity by admitting students of all different races/ethnicity the overall majority of girls that attended my high school were wealthy and white. Therefore, the common similarities between each student created a competitive environment that consisted of girls constantly comparing and judging one another. One may be asking at this point, so does a single-sex education system really eliminate distraction? Absolutely not! The drama at a private school is more avid and detrimental than at a large public school. Having only seventy-two girls in my grade; when word gets out it has the potential to span over all four grade levels.

All in all, my time in high school was unenjoyable and often times unpleasant. Do I regret my overall experience? Surprisingly, no. The reasons for this being I learned a lot about myself. From just the start of freshman year, I never would have been able to recognize and appreciate how the struggles of high school would one day positively shape my life. High school gave me the ability to know what I want in my next path of life, more specifically when it came to college. I desired to attend a large school, full of school spirit, and D1 sports teams. Ultimately, the rough times I endured in high school left me feeling more excited over nervous when it came to applying to colleges. Each college guidance session I was prepared, motivated, and enthusiastic! The four years of high school I had gone through helped shape me into the individual I wanted to be: resilient, independent, and unique. When I eventually graduated from high school it was the best moment in my life! Therefore, I am here to spread the word that if you dislike high school now you will soon come to give thanks to the torture it put you through. Would I send my children to an all-girls private school? Yeah, absolutely, not as I myself picture the beauty in what it would have been like to attend a big public high school. However, I would not say I regretted or scorn my time over those four years, as it was a learning experience. So, thank you high school for shaping me into what I am today!

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The Truth About Young Marriage

Different doesn't mean wrong.
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When I was a kid, I had an exact picture in my mind of what my life was going to look like. I was definitely not the kind of girl who would get married young, before the age of 25, at least.

And let me tell you, I was just as judgmental as that sentence sounds.

I could not wrap my head around people making life-long commitments before they even had an established life. It’s not my fault that I thought this way, because the majority opinion about young marriage in today’s society is not a supportive one. Over the years, it has become the norm to put off marriage until you have an education and an established career. Basically, this means you put off marriage until you learn how to be an adult, instead of using marriage as a foundation to launch into adulthood.

When young couples get married, people will assume that you are having a baby, and they will say that you’re throwing your life away — it’s inevitable.

It’s safe to say that my perspective changed once I signed my marriage certificate at the age of 18. Although marriage is not always easy and getting married at such a young age definitely sets you up for some extra challenges, there is something to be said about entering into marriage and adulthood at the same time.

SEE ALSO: Finding A Husband In College

Getting married young does not mean giving up your dreams. It means having someone dream your dreams with you. When you get lost along the way, and your dreams and goals seem out of reach, it’s having someone there to point you in the right direction and show you the way back. Despite what people are going to tell you, it definitely doesn’t mean that you are going to miss out on all the experiences life has to offer. It simply means that you get to share all of these great adventures with the person you love most in the world.

And trust me, there is nothing better than that. It doesn’t mean that you are already grown up, it means that you have someone to grow with.

You have someone to stick with you through anything from college classes and changing bodies to negative bank account balances.

You have someone to sit on your used furniture with and talk about what you want to do and who you want to be someday.

Then, when someday comes, you get to look back on all of that and realize what a blessing it is to watch someone grow. Even after just one year of marriage, I look back and I am incredibly proud of my husband. I’m proud of the person he has become, and I’m proud of what we have accomplished together. I can’t wait to see what the rest of our lives have in store for us.

“You can drive at 16, go to war at 18, drink at 21, and retire at 65. So who can say what age you have to be to find your one true love?" — One Tree Hill
Cover Image Credit: Sara Donnelli Photography

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If Shonda Can Do A Year Of Yes, Then So Can I

Yes.

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A few years ago, Shonda Rimes decided to do a year of saying yes, after her sister told her she says "No" to everything. It ended up changing her life.

So, I've decided to embark on my own year of yes.

Sure, it may be easy to say yes to everything when you're a millionaire with a bunch of record-setting televisions shows, but the rest of us can do it too.

Say yes to treating yourself.

Say yes to taking care of yourself.

Say yes to saying no, don't stretch yourself too thin.

Say yes to new opportunities

The year of yes is about taking better care of yourself.

My year of yes starts right now.

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