Thank You, Public School

Thank You, Public School

My public school education helped shape my life for the better.
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As an eighth-grader, I dreamed of going to a prestigious private school. Nothing was wrong with my current learning environment, in fact, it was pretty great, but I quickly got sucked into the allure of a big name.

I faced the choice between my "Zoey 101" dreams or remaining with what was familiar. Ultimately, however, I made the decision to remain at the local public school district I had attended my whole life, and I have not once regretted this resolution.

Public school often carries a sort of negative connotation - maybe you even assumed the title of this article was sarcasm. Sure, there are great public schools, but often private school proponents look upon their public counterparts with scorn. Other public school students regard the school system with disdain as well.

One common thread I have observed, however, is that those who take this viewpoint often blame the school for their own shortcomings. Instead of taking full advantage of the wealth of AP courses, competent staff members, and bounty of opportunities for involvement, students often ignore these resources and instead opt to bash what the system lacks, rather than acknowledge the opportunities it affords them.

"It would be so much better if I went to private school."

"(Insert public school name here) is the worst!!!"

"Public high school is a hell hole that should not exist!"

These are all sentiments I have heard echoed frequently amongst my classmates. Not once, however, have I ever shared these sentiments.

I'll be the first to admit that public school certainly has its faults. In fact, there's tons. However, learning to deal with these faults, and still making the most of my educational experience has been the most valuable lesson I have learned throughout all of my years of schooling.

Public school isn't simply circumstances to be overcome. Instead, it's a time of great opportunity to grow and flourish into the person we are each meant to become.

I am immensely grateful to the teachers, clubs advisors, and other influencers who guided me throughout my high school experience. Not once have I felt that "all they cared about was getting a good report."

In these people, I found unwavering support and guidance in every endeavor I explored in my time in high school and beyond. I always knew there were classrooms I could go to when I needed extra help, a refuge, or someone to talk to.

They were invested in far more than my grade in their classroom; they cared and listened to what I had to say.

My public school education wasn't perfect, but nothing is. Yet, the positive experiences of this time period of my life far outweighed the negatives.

Thank you for helping me find my passions. Thank you for my best friends. Thank you for all the great memories.

Thank you, public school, for helping make me, me.

Cover Image Credit: Emily Scheuring

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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22 Things Parents Should Send Their Children At College, If They Love And Miss Them

We're getting to that point in the semester, y'all.

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Even though college students are just a little over a month into the spring semester, we are already feeling high amounts of stress over tests and papers. Nobody said college was going to be easy, and this statement is ringing truer and truer each day. So, to the parents, grandparents, or anybody else who loves us and cares about our well being, here are 22 things you should send us if you love and miss our presence.

1. Gift cards to the local grocery store. 

Preferably Walmart or Food Lion, since that's all we have here in Farmville, VA.

2. Room decor from the Target dollar section. 

Or anything from Target, for that matter. Some college towns don't have one of these glorious establishments, and we are experiencing withdrawals.

3. School supplies. 

You can never have too many sticky notes or colored pens.

4. Mints. 

Because some people need it after lunch, and gum is disgusting.

5. A cozy blanket. 

For those cold nights spent in the library until 2 in the morning.

6. A handwritten letter. 

These are one of my favorite things to get in the mail, and there is always something so sentimental about snail mail.

7. A giant box of fruit snacks...

Definitely one of my favorite grab and go snacks.

8. ... Or candy, in general. 

Preferably, gummies. But, I won't refuse chocolate candy either.

9. Cash. 

For those late night Taco Bell runs, or just to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

10.  A funny movie/DVD. 

There's something so simple and serene about watching a funny movie on a DVD player that brings us back to the less stressful times of our childhood.

11.  Hot chocolate mix. 

I always get random cravings for hot chocolate, but it's never enough to make me want to go buy a box of mix.

12.  Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards. 

Because the majority of our lives revolve around coffee, and sometimes our Keurigs just don't cut it.

13.  Peanut butter crackers. 

These are so quick and easy to eat between classes (or if you're like me, IN class).

14.  Scent diffuser. 

This can be even better if you send a scent that reminds us of home.

15.  Hair ties. 

For some reason, I only own about five at a time because I am always losing these!

16.  Homemade cookies/brownies. 

These always make me so happy knowing my mom took time out of her busy day to think of me and bake yummy treats.

17.  Gift cards for our favorite online shopping stores. 

What better way to relieve stress than buy clothes you don't need?

18.  Nail polish. 

You can never have too many bottles of the same shade of pink.

19.  Mug warmer. 

These help keep your cup of coffee warm for long periods of time so you don't end up wasting such a sacred drink.

20.  Lysol wipes/hand sanitizer. 

I go both of these things at an alarming rate because some places are just plain disgusting.

21.  Band-aids. 

No one ever really thinks of buying these, but they work for so many more reasons than their typical use.

22.  iTunes gift card. 

For all those "educational apps" our professors tell us to buy. *wink wink*

Every college student loves getting a care package in the mail, so if you really love and miss us, please send one our way!

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