What? No Boys!?

Katelynn - Oak Lawn, Illinois
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
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What? No Boys!?

I firmly believe that going to school with 2000 girls for 4 years of my life is what helped me find my true self. Many 14 year olds freak out at the idea of going to a single sex school for the bulk of their teenage years. Well, not only does the absence of the opposite sex in the classroom help to keep focus on schoolwork, single-sex schools also give teenagers a place to be themselves, and not worry about what the opposite sex’s opinion of their actions.

In general, the only difference between single sex schools and co-ed schools is the six hours a day that we are in school. Those six hours are a time to learn and to be yourself. No one has to worry about ‘impressing a boy’ or worrying if they look stupid in front of their crush in fourth period. It is just a nice, relaxed atmosphere where if you act stupid, you get a laugh out of your friends.

More specifically, another difference between single-sex and co-ed schools is the appearance. About 80% of the girls at my school did not even bother to put on makeup for school-there’s no point. If there are no boys to impress, usually a typical teenager feels no need to put too much effort into their appearance. Sure, there were those select few who would come to school as if it were a fashion show in Paris, with their stylish headbands, $300 shoes and ten pounds of makeup on their face. But for the most part, no one cares what they look like.

Apparently it is easy to spot a Catholic school girl around the Chicago area simply by looking at the girl’s hair. If it looks like a bird’s nest on the top of her head, with a convenient ribbon tied in somewhere in an attempt to make it look neater, chances are she attends a Catholic School in the area.

As for my own preferences and how I believe I became myself because of this experience; I went to school almost every day with a ‘’bird’s nest” on my head. Even though there were a few guys here and there for theater class, it did not affect the way I got ready for school. I literally woke up not even fifteen minutes before I left for school. There was no need to get ready, all I had to do was throw on my skirt and polo, brush my teeth and go.

I also learned how to speak my mind with my friends. I used to be quiet and kept things to myself, but as high school went on, I grew out of that; I learned that I need to let my feelings out whether they be feelings of anger or feelings of joy, laughter and stupidity. I will forever miss my lunch table senior year, where we could do and say whatever we want and no one would give us grief.

I believe this helped me become my true self because it made it a lot easier to learn the lesson that I shouldn’t care what people think of me. In not caring what people think of me at school, I slowly became more comfortable with myself no matter what I looked like. I learned that it doesn’t matter what people think of you, if they were a good enough friend, they wouldn’t care. I believe to fully be yourself and unique, you have to abandon the constant feeling of concern of what others think and just live your life.