What? No Boys!?

Katelynn - Oak Lawn, Illinois
Entered on May 4, 2009
Age Group: 18 - 30
  • Listen to This I Believe on RadioPublic

  • Podcasts

    Sign up for our free, weekly podcast of featured essays. You can download recent episodes individually, or subscribe to automatically receive each podcast. Learn more.

  • FAQ

    Frequently asked questions about the This I Believe project, educational opportunities and more...

  • Top Essays USB Drive

    This USB drive contains 100 of the top This I Believe audio broadcasts of the last ten years, plus some favorites from Edward R. Murrow's radio series of the 1950s. It's perfect for personal or classroom use! Click here to learn more.

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.