The transition from middle school to high school is both exciting and nerve-wracking. I vividly remember the pride I had in feeling like I was really growing up, mixed with a slight bit of fear. During the summer of 2015, people kept asking me if I was excited to start high school in the fall. I was! But, transitioning from eighth to ninth grade was full of unknowns for most kids. This was especially true for me due to the fact that I’d be switching from a coed class of 40 students to an all-girls class of nearly 80 students. This made my future seem even more new and mysterious. But now, after graduating from Kent Place, attending a girls school has proven to be a choice I am so glad I made.
I was never unhappy with the coed school I attended from Kindergarten up to eighth grade. I made friendships I still cherish today and formed academic habits and strategies that I still utilize. However, when I visited Kent Place the fall of my eighth-grade year and experienced the type of academic environment an all-girls school can foster, I knew I was ready to put off a coed learning environment until college.
I quickly learned during that visit how strong and passionate Kent Place girls are and how so much of that is influenced by the all-girls environment. Girls at Kent Place are driven and encourage themselves and their peers to take positive risks inside and outside of the classroom. Every time I attended a bi-weekly Diversity Council (DIVCO) or Girls Learning and Making a Difference (GLAM’D) meeting, or even just participated in discussions in English class, I was reminded of how lucky I was to have so many passionate, well-spoken, and hard-working classmates. When I first attended a GLAM’D meeting my freshman year I assumed I would learn a lot and listen to what others had to say. Never did I picture myself being someone speaking up in such a meeting. This one meeting, however, showed me the type of charisma and power Kent Place girls have and reminded me that I did not come to this school, or let alone this GLAM’D meeting, to just sit back and observe. Kent Place girls have a special type of wisdom, passion, and eloquence that commands the attention and respect of others. We are not told that we need to care about what we learn, speak on what we are passionate about, or even contribute in class, because we don’t need to be. We want to do these things.
For me, the choice to switch from coed to all-girls was simple. Though I know this can be a concern for many, as someone who attended an all-girls school from freshman to senior year, going to an all-girls school is by no means a social sacrifice. At Kent Place, we really do have a sisterhood, and not in a stereotypical or cheesy way. Our sisterhood exists in the support each of us receives and gives to each other and in the way we are inspired by our peers and encouraged to be the best we can be. Switching to an all-girls school is a chance to try something new and see the benefits that come from surrounding yourself with amazing women and driven leaders who support one another. As I look forward to my freshman year at Cornell, I’m positive that I’m equipped for all that is to come. I’m better for having gone to Kent Place.
Related: Growing Up at a Girls School