I once asked someone if they’d attended an all girls school growing up and their exact response was; ‘My parents would never do that to me’. At first I laughed it off and then I realised that this is a common reaction when I tell people that I spent most of my teenage years in a school filled with 300 girls. There’s this weird misconception that when you go to an all girls school, 100% of the girls are boy mad and it’s the bitchiest and worst place you’ll ever step foot in. In some cases I’m not going to lie, this could be the case, but my experience taught me a very positive side to being surrounded by a group of girls your own age for 6 years and I thought I’d share them with you.
For starters some of my closest friends today are the girls I met at secondary school; one of them befriended me on the very first day in year 7, only because she liked my baby blue pleather jacket (the true foundations of a great friendship). We’ve been friends ever since.
For the majority of my school life I never wore make-up to school. There were obviously girls that did wear make up, but I never felt the need to, mainly because the majority of the girls around me didn’t wear make up to school either (unless mascara was called for, for example if I was about to see the boy I fancied through the window on the bus ride home- because he could definitely see me that far away😂). Not wearing make-up gave me this confidence that came from my abilities, compared to what I looked like, which I thrived on. I’m not saying I didn’t go through the same teenage anxieties, but I felt at school these weren’t as present as when I was outside of it. Girls at my school were encouraged to not be embarrassed to ask questions, however ‘stupid’ they might be and it’s something I still have to this day. If I don’t understand something I will ask a question to try and understand because at the end of the day what’s the worst that could happen?
I feel like the confidence that comes from your abilities and not how you look is something everyone can take with them through life. At the end of the day it should be about the person you are, not what you look like. It’s also taught me that girls should support each other, not belittle and bitch about one another. Obviously there were times at school when groups of girls didn’t get on, due to some miscommunication between two of them that had got stirred up in a bit of teenage drama. The dramas at school always seem so much bigger when you’re 14 compared to looking back now in my late 20s which is also a good thing to remember.
Secondary school for me felt like this safe bubble. When I left after sixth form and attended uni, to be honest I felt slightly disorientated, everything I’d known for the last six years was now completely different and I had to adapt to it. In hindsight this was a great thing, it made me grow up but value my secondary school bubble too.
This isn’t a post to snub anyone that didn’t go to an all girls school (obviously), it’s more of a personal experience piece and a little nod to those people who are maybe about to start/already attend an all girls school and feel anxiety about it. You’re not alone in that feeling, you also will be safe in the knowledge that one of the girls in your year will be going through and having exactly the same feelings as you. If school taught me anything it was to embrace your weird side and come to the realisation that you’re never going to get along with everyone and that’s absolutely fine.
I would love to know what your secondary/high school experience was like? This is the only one I’ve got to go from, but would love to hear how you felt if you went to a co-ed school or even an all boys school?