For 6 years, I attended an all-girls school. When I decided to switch into all-girls after 6th grade, I was skeptical, to say the least. My kindergarten classroom had only three girls, and most of my classes through 6th grade were split in half male/female. The activities were co-ed, and the halls were filled with hundreds of elementary school boys and girls. But, ultimately, my elementary school wasn't working out, and my family decided that all-girls could be a good option. From 7th grade until 12th grade, I was in classes and most activities with only other middle and high school aged girls.
My first few days of all-girls education was slightly strange, but after a year, it was natural and I grew to love being in middle and high school classes with all girls. When I tell people in college that I went to an all-girls school, they find it incredibly interesting. They ask what it was like (a great experience) if I looked at all-girls colleges (nope) if I miss it (sometimes) if I had any non-female friends (yes, we weren't isolated). But, I couldn't have asked for a better environment to learn and grow in for six years.
The school is focused on the girls' sports and activities because, well, that's all there is. High schools tend to focus on the football teams, sometimes the men's hockey team, perhaps the men's soccer team. However, my high school showed pride for our widely successful swim team. We were let out of school early to cheer on the girls' hockey team, and our homecoming night was full of female sports games. The all-female choir sang the National Anthem at these games, and my high school had an award-winning Robotics team. We emphasized the importance of having women in STEM fields and became advocates for our passions.
You learn to speak your mind. As a 12-year-old girl, it can be scary raising your hand in class and possibly being made fun of by the boys if it's incorrect. But in an all-girls school, you see most of the class shooting their hands in the air to answer a question, and discussions are vibrant and fearless. We discussed difficult topics and felt comfortable validating our opinions. And when we found ourselves in co-ed classes in college, we had the experience necessary to express our opinions.
Finally, you and your friends become like sisters. During the school day, it's just you and the other girls in your grade. At the end of my six years, I had 83 other sisters. Did we have arguments sometimes? Of course. Were there problems? Naturally. But, we were a family, and I know I can count on these girls.