When I started school, I was like almost every other kid in this country. I went to a normal K-8 public school where I had every intention of being at until I graduated in the 8th grade. However, when I got to the 5th grade, and it came time to make the transition into middle school, my parents brought up the idea of a private middle and high school.

At first, I didn't want to switch schools, but I decided to go on the tours anyway. My mind quickly changed. I fell in love with the atmosphere at the all-girls school that I toured, and it wasn't just because that school had a nicer facility than the school I was at. There was something about the girls at that school and the way that they acted around each other. They were completely comfortable with each other and were never afraid to speak their minds in class.

Outside of class, they were doing cartwheels down the hall and laughing as they spoke to their friends. There was something about those girls and the passion they had for learning and school that led me to choose the private all-girls school that made me who I am.

When I started middle school, I was terribly insecure and shy. I was afraid that everyone I spoke to was judging me, but it wasn't hard to make friends at a school where everyone was a new student. During my middle school years, I was encouraged to speak up in class, even if I knew my answer was wrong. It's ok to be wrong; that's how we learn.

When I got to high school, classes got harder and sometimes it was harder to put yourself out in the open with your opinions, as many people had differing opinions. Luckily, my school instilled a strong sense of confidence in me. We had speakers often that taught us a lot about ourselves. We were taught to love ourselves and be proud of who we are. My school taught each and every girl that walked across the lawn to be themselves and be confident in who they were and what their abilities were.

By the time my senior year rolled around, I wasn't afraid to put myself out into the world. I wasn't afraid to speak my mind in front of anyone. As a matter of fact, I wasn't even particularly nervous when I stood in front of the entire school to read my senior speech. After seven years at this school, I was a little sad to leave the place and the people I had spent such a significant amount of time with.

The girls at that school helped make me who I am today. I am confident and unafraid to put myself out in society. I am proud of who I am and proud that I have such a wonderful education. I cannot thank the teachers at that school that helped make me who I am. Whether it was the extreme challenges of honors biology or AP calculus, they helped prepare me for college and beyond. They taught me important life lessons, and I made lasting relationships with those teachers who helped me through some of the toughest times of my life.

My school didn't only give me a fantastic education, it gave me who I am today.