When you're young, you want to copy everything your older sister does. Her hair, her clothes, and even the meal she picks on the dinner menu. I know I wanted to be exactly like my sister growing up. When she told our parents about her goal of attending a "traditional" school, I was dismayed. Why would she want to leave the online school she's in? The same school I was in.
I watched my sister head off to a school our aunt also attended. About three years later, I made a similar decision and followed my sister to an all-girls school. Would I have gone there if my sister hadn't? I'm not sure, but I do know that the decision completely changed my life. When I tell this story, people respond in shock. They ask, "What is it like going to an all-girls school?" It isn't strange or weird. It's special. There are three pieces of wisdom I give to anyone curious about this process.
Going to an all-girls school is like going to...school.
It doesn't feel different. When you walk around campus, you don't notice you are surrounded by other girls. It just feels like a school full of like-minded young adults excited about education. The idea of going to an all-girl school and not being able to talk to boys is such a misconception. We are able to talk to everyone because our school made communication a priority. Our school also made sure we had the ability to go out into the community and experience activities with everyone, including boys. School shouldn't define you, and if you're worried about missing out on boys, find another after-school program or activity where you can practice that skill.
I felt empowered.
I did go to a co-ed school for part of my middle school career. I can proudly say I was more confident at my all-girls school. I wasn't worried about getting the answer right or embarrassing myself. I felt at home and could share ideas that contributed to a better discussion. Being in an environment with other strong females is something that is so incredible it's hard to describe. It is also refreshing to be in a place where being a woman is celebrated.
What I looked like didn't matter.No one cared if I wore sweatpants and a baggy shirt on dress down days. How I looked wasn't an issue. I felt comfortable at school to go as myself and not impress anyone. I was there to learn and engage with my fellow community members. When you go to a co-ed school, there is a natural focus on your appearance. At an all-girls school, appearance doesn't matter. Your personality can shine through.