Why would you deliberately decide to go to an all-girls boarding school? Don’t you wish that you could see boys every day? Why would you choose to live at school?
These are questions I have heard far too often in my life.
For me, my boarding school days remind me of getting a great education, making the friends who will be bridesmaids at my wedding one day, and going to the barn after school each day to ride. I will never forgot those dreaded collared shirts that all of us hated, and the crazy traditions that made us love our school even more.
Single sex education is powerful, since girls’ schools create a culture where academic success and perseverance are the top priorities. The classroom environment encourages girls to ask questions and not be afraid to try new things. In a single-sex school, none of us were concerned with how we looked or whom we dated, which allowed us to have the confidence to speak up in classes without fear of disproval or failing.
I attended Foxcroft School in Middleburg, Virginia, and a couple times a week we would have something called Morning Meeting, where girls would stand up in front of the whole school, classmates and professors, to make announcements, to sing with their acapella groups, or to announce a new college acceptance. Many of the girls provided their own humorous twist to their announcements, often causing everyone in our school to erupt in laughter. I remember trembling when I made my first announcement, but by the end of my senior year, public speaking was easy.
I learned to feel comfortable with public speaking because I knew I had full support from my peers and professors. Living with other students is an amazing experience and the girls in my dorm became my sisters. My professors also changed my life, as they were not only educators but also our mentors. Many of them knew us very personally, understanding our home lives, our passions, and our weaknesses.
The professors also encouraged us to explore opportunities in STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. I took engineering classes where I learned woodwork and design, participated in STEM competitions where I would tackle science problems with a team, and tutored in the learning center to help other girls with their homework. Foxcroft made math and science fun and none of us ever felt that being a doctor, engineer, physicist, or mathematician were jobs for men. Girls’ school graduates are 6 times more likely to consider majoring in math, science, and technology compared to girls who attend coed schools. For me, I’m a pre-veterinary student applying to vet school this summer.
At a girls’ school, girls are not just encouraged, but expected to become bold leaders. More than two-thirds of girls expect to earn a graduate or professional degree after graduating. Girls’ schools push us students to strive for greatness, and I’m so thankful for my experience that changed my life.