Life at an all girls school has become very normal for me. Having attended NCDS for eight years, I have become very accustomed to an all girls education and life walking into an all girls school every day. But, the life I have become so accustomed to contrasts greatly to an all boys counterpart. In response to my realization, I asked and surveyed some students at NCDS to see what their perceptions were on a day in a life at an all boys school. Many participants said that the first word that came to mind when they thought of the classroom environment and all boys school was “loud,” “rowdy” and “unproductive.” One student from NCDS commented, “ I can imagine class being competitive and loud. I think there would be a lot of distractions that the teacher would have to deal with.” Conversely, another student said, “I imagine class to be very serious. I even see them being calmer in class than outside of school.” As for life at an all girls school, Faith Ellis ‘20 and Grace Bizup ‘20 sums up the classroom environment when they say, “I think that at an all girls school, we’re encouraged to take ourselves seriously in the classroom, and make mistakes in order to learn ” and “there isn’t as much pressure to say the “right thing” so that helps us form really close relationships with our teachers.”
As for life outside the classroom, many girls believed that common topics for conversation for boys are sports, video games and girls and not as close to as much drama compared to an all girls school. As for the conversations about sports, 93% of girls said sports were taken seriously, if not taken very seriously, therefore becoming an important topic of conversation between students. As for an all girls school, conversations range between classes, drama, boys or social events like semi or prom.
Finally, the main difference girls thought was present between an all girls school and all boys school is the community. As Bizup and Ellis both said, students are able to develop a relationship with their teachers and peers in the classroom environment, but outside the classroom, NCDS hosted various retreats and class trips for each grade level throughout the school year to promote a building of community. As a result, the community between students becomes very tight knit. Many students do not think all boys schools are able to create the same strength of the community as all girls schools are able to. One student summarized this saying, “girls focus on forming strong bonds with their classmates, and I think boys are more competitive and have more peer pressure from the community.”
When you hear the words “all boys school,” what are your expectations? Dirty, a zoo, fights, sports, strict teachers, no fun? It’s fair; sometimes the school can get a little dirty, and yes a locker box match will pop up every now and then, and sure after sports the locker rooms can smell like an elephant cage or the bathroom stall can be missing a door; and yes a teacher will snatch your phone if they catch you on it during the school day. However, this isn’t all what a boy’s school is, especially at Sebs. The majority of the time, we are dedicated to our studies, and act relatively civilized, and trust me, we have fun every opportunity we have. Whether it be racing your friend to your next class, or getting into heated battles over a Kahoot game, we make fun out of every situation. Yes, even going to chapel and class meeting can be fun. If the class clown goes up to give his chapel speech, you can be positive that it will be riddled with jokes. Or at class meeting, when during the attendance, someone says “here” even when their name hasn’t been called. Another stereotype is that we are cut off from any interaction with girls. Well this is also false, as we do many things with other girls’ schools in the area, from dances to charity, or hanging out with friends we have at the girl’s schools. Another commonly heard stereotype is that we are all a bunch of senseless brutes who only know how to play sports and eat food. Again, this is wrong as many of the kids in the Sebs community are dedicated to their studies first, and everything else second. Don’t get me wrong though, food and sports are a dominant aspect of life at an all-boys school. I would say that the highlight of most people at school’s day is their lunch period, or after school going to practice or games. So next time you think Boys school, don’t think of senseless smelly brutes.