Attending An All-Girls School Shaped Me Into Who I Am
Start writing a post
Politics and Activism

Attending An All-Girls School Shaped Me Into Who I Am

Girls can actually live without the presence of boys in their day-to-day lives. Crazy, right?

Attending An All-Girls School Shaped Me Into Who I Am

The two years that I spent at an all-girls school have taught me more than my nine years of schooling elsewhere. After 8th grade, my family moved and my education at The Ellis School in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania was cut short. When I talk about Ellis or single-sex education in general, comments along the lines of two stereotypical subjects emerge. These subjects are the proof for why all-girls schooling just isn’t that great, but for me they are the reasons why I love it.

The first, being the no boy issue. Some assume that any given student at an all-girls school is either a lesbian or a straight girl who is absolutely dying without a male student body. This claim is simply not logical. We are not cut off from society and spend plenty of time with the opposite sex outside of school. Plus, SHOCKER! Girls can actually live without the presence of boys in their day-to-day lives. Crazy, right?

The second stereotype is the idea that an all-girls environment is an incubator for catty fights and drama. There is no environment in the world where conflict does not occur, and an all-girls school is no exception, but this assumption is still incorrect and fairly negative. Why is it so hard to imagine an environment in which girls boost each other up instead of tear each other down? It’s real, females can actually embrace each other’s differences, encourage each other to take risks, and celebrate each other’s successes.

While both stereotypes turn people away from an all-girls education, their topics are the sole reasons for why I believe in the value of it.

The number one lesson I learned in my two years at an all-girls school is that women can do anything and everything that a man can. Yes, we know this, we hear it all the time, it is practically ingrained in our brains, and (hopefully) we believe it. However, we don’t typically get to see it proven with such a large quantity of young women. At Ellis, 400 girls from PreK to 12th grade are told that they can and will do anything that they set their minds to. They build robots, learn to code, create Rube Goldberg machines, and they do it all without the pressure and competition of the opposite sex.

For a large majority of the existence of man and woman, it has been commonly acknowledged that men are superior. Homo sapiens have only existed for about 100,000 years, and women in the U.S. only gained the right to vote in 1920. Women’s suffrage was a large breakthrough in the movement towards gender equality, but it wasn’t that long ago. Whether we would like to believe it or not, the implementation of equality is fairly new and incomplete. Many people still have a core belief that men are superior, so we still have progress to make. No matter how hard we try, influences of female inferiority are everywhere, yet so subliminal that you can’t quite pinpoint it. I cannot stress how hard it is to notice the actions that cause us to think, unconsciously, that men have and deserve a more dominant role than women. The actions that influence these mindsets can be small, maybe it’s ingrained deep within us without our knowing.

It may be hard to imagine for someone who has always attended a co-ed school to understand, but to learn and grow without the slightest influence of gender inequality is the safest and most encouraging scenario for a young girl. Girls can survive without boys, but they don’t just survive; they thrive.

On my first day at Ellis, I was appalled by how many girls raised their hands with every question that the teacher asked. One question, and the entire class of 15 girls shot their hands up. At my previous school, it wasn’t that ‘trying’ in class was for losers, but it was not exactly deemed ‘cool.’

As simple as it may seem, Ellis taught me how to raise my hand. If I shouted out the wrong answer to an algebra problem I never felt embarrassed. There was no need for perfection and no threat of judgement. With every time I raised my hand, I felt supported by a strong community of girls, just as eager to try, grow, and learn as I was.

The first thing I noticed on my first day at my current co-ed high school is that kids don’t raise their hands. It is ‘uncool.’ The students who avidly raise their hands are viewed as nerds or try-hards. I notice it most in the girls though. Some underlying pressure teaches them to sit there, smile at their friends, sneak a peek at their phones, doodle on their notes, etc. Anything but raise their hands. After the first few weeks of school, one of my classmates mentioned that I raise my hand a lot. Not quite making fun of me, but questioning it. I was genuinely confused and did not understand why he thought my confidence was abnormal, because it should not be abnormal.

I still raise my hand in class. I raise it so much, and I feel that people notice. My teacher doesn’t call on me all the time, and I don’t always have the correct answer, but I raise my hand because I would be stupid not to. I am smart, I am going places, and every girl has the capacity to do so. It's as simple as raising your hand just to give your best shot at a question you may not know the perfect answer to.

If I had not gone to Ellis, even though it was only two years, I would not be the person I am today. I would not raise my hand with confidence. Raising your hand in class is such a small little action, and if a girl cannot raise her hand in class, how is she going to cure cancer? How is she going to become president? How is she going to change the world?

Send your daughter to an all-girls school simply because she can do anything, and she deserves to know it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

23 Pandemic-Approved Date Ideas That'll Send Sparks Flying From Six Feet Apart

There's a safe way to date right now and yes, it includes masks.


While some people would rather opt out of dating altogether during the pandemic so they don't have to wear a mask on a first date, others are choosing to listen to both guidelines and their heart in order to find love during the time of coronavirus (COVID-19).

Should you be one of the individuals welcoming romance right now, there are pandemic-approved dates you can go on that still adhere to guidelines (and yes, you'll have to wear a mask).

Keep Reading... Show less

I didn't believe the notification when it came through to my phone: Ruth Bader Ginsburg had died from complications due to cancer.

Keep Reading... Show less

In our patriarchal society, men hide from their feelings, but toxic masculinity is literally killing men. They swallow the pain and move on so that they can look, feel, and act "tough."

But, strength is derived from asking for help and voicing your struggle and, trust me, working on your mental health is one hell of a struggle. The real way to "man up" is to acknowledge the downfalls in unjust societal norms. Mental health problems do not mean that a man is weak, they are neurologically-based disorders that require professional treatment.

Keep Reading... Show less

11 Things Your Boyfriend Should Do Before He Drops $499 On A PS5

Let's start with spending less time gaming and more time with you.


Scrolling through Twitter this week had me rolling on the floor laughing as I read some of the hilarious tweets from ladies who, whether in a relationship or not, shared reactions to the news that PlayStation 5 is on its way

As this "buy your boyfriend a PS5" joke takes off across the internet, let's just say, there are a few things your BF should be doing before dropping $499 on the new gaming system — or, if the tweets are real for some, before you buy it for him as a gift.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

Sorry, But 'I Don’t Care About Politics' Is Not A Valid Excuse For NOT Voting

The younger generation of voters is so crucial to the upcoming election because our vote is going to shape the world that we are about to enter as adults.


When I ask my friends if they are voting this term most of them respond with "no" followed by an explanation of "I don't care enough," "It doesn't affect me," or "I don't keep up with politics," etc. I get it, as a college student I know that there are many other things to be concerned about like school, relationships, work, and friends. I also understand that keeping up with politics can seem like trying to keep up with an over-exaggerated reality show that has way too many seasons. Not to mention most news stations and websites are biased so it's hard to decipher if what you hear is true or fake.

However, despite all of this annoyance, as the next generation of Americans, we have to remember that we owe it to ourselves, our families, and to our futures to care.

Keep Reading... Show less
Tasia Sli

Tasia Sli and Anna Yang met in quintessential New York fashion at a chic rooftop event, inquisitive Yale grad Anna gravitating towards model/entrepreneur Tasia.

Keep Reading... Show less
Photo by Anna Hernández-Buces

"Do you have big parties on Cinco de Mayo?"

Keep Reading... Show less

Two of my favorite things in life are reading and books. Obviously, they go hand-in-hand. In my life, I've realized that there is nothing better than learning about the current world or getting fully immersed in another world. Reading can inspire, teach, and entertain you.

For me, the feeling of opening a book and smelling that fresh book smell can't compete with anything else.

Keep Reading... Show less

Expecting mother and wife to singer/songwriter John Legend may have accidentally slipped up and revealed the gender of her and Legend's third baby today on her Instagram story.

Keep Reading... Show less

20 Books About Latin And Hispanic Heritage Absolutely Everyone Should Have On Their Bookshelf

Any ally of the community needs to be reading these incredible reads.


I go through phases when it comes to what I like to read. I am typically reading two books at any given time: one serious nonfiction and one escapist fiction novel to have on hand and open up depending on my mood.

What remains consistent, however, amongst most of my fellow bibliophiles is a desire to try new and different authors and genres. I, as an Indian woman, have been partial to reading books written by fellow Indian and Desi writers since I first got a library card.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

I Asked 46 Women What They Thought About The Term 'Plus-Size', And Here's What They Had To Say

It's 2020, where change is inevitable and norms are not only questioned, but challenged.


We live in a world where it's become customary to push boundaries, break rules, and question standards upheld by society. Though try as we might, some of these standards are harder to conquer than others — body image is one of the top contenders.

For years, the body positivity movement has pushed for the acceptance of all marginalized body types not represented or celebrated in the media. Recently, we've gotten better at appreciating and accepting all body types, but one thing that's still lingering is the stigma of body image in the fashion industry — more specifically, the term "plus-size."

Keep Reading... Show less

Many popular TV shows are holding off premiers until spring, so most people are relying on their television subscriptions to get them through a socially distant fall semester.

Thankfully, Netflix was busy filming this past year because there is a ton of new original content coming in the near future. From mysteries to romances, here are some of the best new shows you have to check out this year:

Keep Reading... Show less

Taylor Swift Sang 'betty' At The ACMs And It Was The Perfect First Live 'folklore' Performance

I guarantee that Inez is spreading rumors about how fire this performance was.


The Academy of Country Music Awards were last night and the performances were wonderful, but Taylor Swift's live version of "betty" from her newest album "folklore" really took the cake for me.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

9 Reasons I Unfollowed All The Fitness Influencers On My Instagram Feed

I don't need to feel bad about myself because of who I follow on social media.


Throughout quarantine, something that a lot of us picked up on was working out. With all the free time, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to work on that "dream bod" you've been wanting for years, or to just feel good about yourself.

A common way to stay motivated and keep yourself on-task is to follow fitness influencers on various platforms. For some people, yes, this can be a healthy and helpful way to keep your drive. In other cases, however, this can do more harm than good.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments