Why Going To A Girls’ School Was The Best Decision I Ever Made
Single-sex vs. mixed-sex schools – both have their cheerleaders and their critics. After all, the environment we grow up in, the ways in which we’re taught and the people who surround us can have a big impact on our lives. NCS grad, Xena, tells us why she thinks an all-girls school tops it for her.
Girls’ schools. Or rather, single-sex schools. Yes, you will have all heard of them and may have some high opinions about them – or no opinion at all. But, within today's culture, they don't have a positive reputation. The negative stereotypes attached include people thinking that "we just hate boys" and that we're all “mean". They’ll think, "aren't you defending the patriarchy by going to such school?" No Karen, I'm not.
In my experience of a lifetime being a teenage misery – having gone to both mixed-gendered and girls’ schools – I’ve noticed differences in my experiences and believe going to a girl’s school may not be such a bad idea after all.
Firstly, in mixed schools, there were a lot of girls trying to fit in with other peers by following the same societal pressures, to make them feel like they belonged. There would be a lot more petty conflicts about image and reputation (not saying that it doesn't happen).
Whereas in girls’ schools, the majority don't really care (except some) and if they have an issue with something, they will truthfully tell you that. Being in an environment where there’s a sense of honesty and integrity made me feel that I could somewhat be myself.
I also noticed that I’m not distracted in class, as I was in a mixed-gender school. Perhaps because we’re taught ‘boys will be boys’ and sometimes accept their behaviour as being ‘typical’. In my school, there are no such policies for this – which helps students concentrate and get extra help from teachers due to less pressures of dealing with misbehaviour.
When girls and boys are inside or outside of classrooms, there will always be a reason for the boys to showcase their superiority, and there always seems to be a competitive attitude between one another.
I noticed that at my all-girls’ school, there simply was very little competition at all. The school actually encourages individuals to work together to achieve their goals, which helps create a less intense environment – and also builds a sense of community as single sex schools tend to be much smaller.
It was also apparent that many teachers in my classes project a lot of feminist ideologies. It creates a better learning environment as this helps us girls motivate ourselves to reach our own goals and dreams, without others dictating on how we live our own lives. We also have a very strong focus on STEM subjects in our school, encouraging girls to take on male-dominated jobs in these industries.
Overall, being in a single sex schools can have many advantages and disadvantages, as all schools do. However, going to such schools doesn't make you who you are. Choosing them doesn't make you a bad person or mean you're not a feminist. And despite girls’ schools being a very old style of education, they can have some great benefits. Not everybody learns in the same way and everyone has different personalities so these environments can benefit some people.
Having a good education is of huge importance and you should never let someone shame you for the school you go to / plan to go to. Because having a good education and school experience is more important than the gender of your school.
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