By Lizzi Powers
Whether you have walked the halls of HB since infancy, or joined HB as a new freshman, there is no arguing that learning in an all-girls environment will effect (if it hasn’t already) how you view yourself, the world, and your actions within it. I asked several HB girls how they viewed their all-girls education, and I received some mixed opinions. One senior stated, “I feel like going to an all-girls school has taught me to be an empowered woman and to participate in class. I will never question whether or not to voice my opinion, and for that I am very grateful”. However, another senior chimed in, “I think going to an all-girls school has hurt me in the long-run, because one day I’m going to have to be in the workforce with men, and I won’t know how to carry myself and act in that situation”. It is true that attending an all-girls school has its pros and cons, such as enhanced academics but loss of the “traditional high school experience”. One student, who has attended HB since prime, said “You miss out on traditional high school experiences when you attend an all-girls school. However, I would never change my choice to attend one”. So what is this “traditional high school experience” everyone talks about? Is it seeing your crush in the hallway? Is it having male friends to laugh with in class? Attending fall football games? And just how important are these “experiences”?
Clearly, HB girls have mixed feelings on how much these traditional experiences mean to them, and whether the benefits of attending an all-girls school outweighs them. I entered HB as a freshman from a co-ed public school, and from the first day of my freshmen year I never even noticed that all my classmates were female, even though I had grown up with male classmates. I love that I can put all my energy into my schoolwork if I want, even if that means not having time to pick out an outfit or put makeup on in the morning. But if I want to do those things too, I can. I love that there’s freedom to do what you want here. Of course, the academics at HB are the main benefit in attending the school, and I would be lying if I said I thought I could achieve the same level of success at my former school. The classes offered to me would have been different and the opinions of my classmates towards me for taking these classes would have been very different. It is a valid point though, that HB is a bubble, and it’s hard to forget sometimes that our expectations and what’s “normal” to us is not the same as everyone else. We forget that it’s not normal to send multiple kids to Ivy League schools every year, or to send the majority of our senior classes to colleges out-of-state. As one senior said, “In a sense we’ve grown up in a bubble, but it’s a bubble that’s given us the freedom to have a voice”.