Everyone either loved (the kids who peaked) or hated (future cool people) his or her high school. For me, well, I'm cool—so, naturally, I hated my high school. No, I did not hate it because it seemed like a super Kurt Cobain/manic depressive teenager-ish thing to do, but because of the way the people, faculty, and administration of the Holton-Arms School treated me.
I attended the deceivingly "prestigious" Holton-Arms School for Girls Grades 3-12 for, well, grades 3-12. TEN. WHOLE. YEARS. Damn. That's a long time. You see, in the beginning, a.k.a Lower School (grades 3 through 6) and Middle School (grades 7 and 8), I had tons of genuine friends, was loved, properly challenged in my classes, treated with respect by the faculty, and I enjoyed my time both in the classroom and extracurricular activities. So those six years were fun, educational, explorative, and generally encouraging for my younger self who wasn't yet sure if she wanted to be a film producer, movie star, dermatologist, or space cadet... But then ninth grade came around, and that all changed.
All—and when I say all, I mean every single one of—my real friends switched from Holton-Arms to well-ranked Montgomery County/District of Columbia public schools such as Whitman, Churchill, Wilson, and Bethesda Chevy-Chase, or even to other private ones in the DMV-area such as Bullis, Sidwell, Field, Without Walls, National Cathedral or Episcopal. They apparently knew what was coming before it hit 'em. Me? I wanted to stay at Holton-Arms to receive the all-coveted "Ten Year Girl" designation upon graduation in June 2016 (trust me, sticking out the four years of misery in the high school wasn't worth it in the way I thought it would be).
High school was like going to hell for me—actually, it was worse. Please, if you ever have the chance to send your daughter to Holton-Arms School, do NOT take it. I was badly mistreated by both the faculty AND my peers (not that they are in any way dignified to deserve such a label after some of them repeatedly called me an "idiot" among other disgusting names for setting out on a path to become a prominent Hollywood film producer), was sent death threats, and was even told me to kill myself and that my creativity and attainable dreams were absolutely ridiculous. They told me that I would never make it in the entertainment industry, and that the industry is not even a "real thing" (ummmm, hello? I am actually on track to become a well-known producer in the industry...). Holton, I guarantee you it is a "real thing" and that I can and I will become a household name.
All of the students in all the different grades refused to associate themselves with me, so they wouldn't DARE be anything but savage and stone-cold CRUEL to me so as not to be seen as friends with the "Hollywood freak." Every day I would come to school and be told that I was never going to amount to anything, and that I deserved to "f****** die" because I was a "c***" (for no apparent reason, as I continued to be cordial, nice, and even friendly to these "people"), among other torments they held over my head mainly due to the fact that I was—and still am—different.
Well, now I am already working in the industry as a producer as well as shadowing several prominent producers. I am making more money and creative, epic productions than even I could have ever dreamed of, and I'm not here to rub it in the Holton-Arms School for Girls' face. I am here to beg you of this one favor: please, if you're even SLIGHTLY considering sending your daughter to #HoltonArmsSchool #Holton #HoltonArms, do NOT.
If you scroll up and read this article again, you'll notice that, at the end of the third paragraph, I said that sticking out the four years of misery in Holton-Arms' high school wasn't worth it in the way I thought it would be. It was NOT worth all of my parents' money/time/energy, my own late nights studying for pointless exams/days spent agonizing over the real-life and cyber bullying I somehow endured/my spending all of high school friendless (well, technically I did have friends in high school, as I did keep in touch with the real friends I made at Holton-Arms who left before "High School Hell" began as well as my other real friends, who I met through my wonderfully inclusive Jewish youth group [BBYO], temple [Washington Hebrew Congregation], sleep-away camp [Mataponi], CorePower Yoga in Bethesda, SoulCycle Bethesda, neighborhood, mutual friends, and a plethora of other social activities in which I took a hearty part, but I actually had no friends at Holton-Arms after ALL of the nice people left), and my siblings and outside-of-school friends' shared late night crying experiences with me/effort they put into protecting me from my tormentors/torture they must have gone through seeing one of their best friends suffer so hard every single day for four full years while they could essentially do nothing about it.
So, please, do me—and all of your friends, family, neighbors, and even acquaintances—a favor: don't waste upwards of $43,000 a year by sending your creative, talented, unique or just plain different child to Holton. That money should be put to MUCH BETTER USE, such as saving for your future retirement, sending your child to public school and saving that money instead for college, going on several relaxing family vacations, a better private school education, or even a charity that allows girls in other, less free countries to learn.
This successful, happy, independent and self-confident chick right here, who epitomizes those adjectives no thanks to #HAS. This girl is her own person, and she does not owe her success to anyone besides herself and her hard work and persistence in the face of hatred & darkness. She is grateful to her wonderful, loyal, one-of-a-kind friends, family, and industry/otherwise mentors who supported her on her ever-going ascent to the top. This girl is a.k.a ARW.
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