I think the true beauty of an all-girls’ education is how not-so stereotypically beautiful I can look while I’m at school. Yes, there are tons of benefits to a single-sex education — like a community full of female role models and an empowering, comfortable environment — but, in all honesty, being able to roll out of bed, throw on my uniform and go to school without self-consciousness has been amazing.
As someone who has attended both coed and all-girls’ schools, I can tell you there are many reasons you might favor one school environment over another. And, honestly, I am who I am today because I attended a private coed elementary school from kindergarten through grade 6. Attending a coed school in the younger grades allowed me to build confidence and solid friendships with boys, and I am so grateful to have that foundation. But moving on to an all-girls’ middle/high school for grades 7-12 allowed me to further develop into the person I was supposed to become. And here I am, a senior preparing to depart for college.
For those of you considering whether an all-girls’ school would be right for you, here are a few of the biggest takeaways I have after attending an all-girls school for six years:
Comfort and Confidence
As I’m approaching the end of my senior year of high school, one of my biggest takeaways from the all-girls’ school environment is my confidence. I’m comfortable in my skin because of my school’s — and particularly my grade’s — community environment. We boost each other's confidence, cheering each other on through long school days. We’re even anonymous “pump-up buddies” for each other, keeping spirits high with a note and candy on days of big deadlines or assessments. My classmates’ encouragement has made me confident and comfortable.
As cliché as the term “girl-power” may seem, I like to think about our all-girls’ school environment as one big sports team. I have played soccer and lacrosse throughout my time in the middle/high school (and tried swimming for one season — not my strongest sport). On the field, I’m surrounded by my insanely talented teammates, and we all constantly support each other to win. We pump each other up, congratulate our successes and help each other to fix mistakes. The same goes for our school community, but on a much bigger scale. We all face challenges together, working as one huge team to make the most of our academic, artistic and athletic endeavours. The bonds I’ve made with my female friends, on and off the field, are ones I will carry with me for the rest of my life, and I attribute the strength of these relationships to our all-girls’ environment.
Moving into a single-sex school helped me to become more confident; and I was, have been and continue to be less shy to raise my hand and speak up in class. Surrounded by all my friends and female classmates, the all-girls’ environment is just so encouraging and accepting, that you’re confident to step up and take on those leadership positions at school — whether it’s participating on student council, being captain of a sports team, singing in the school musical, writing for the student newspaper (or blog), or starting a new after-school club because you just love robotics.
There are so many benefits to an all-girls’ education, but it really just comes down to the right fit and what feels right for you. I thrived in an all-girls’ school and I’m so grateful for the strong foundation and relationships I’ve developed.