I always get shocked looks and prying questions when someone finds out that I attended an all-girls Catholic high school for two years. People always seem to have crazy expectations of what happens in those halls. They ask if we were hit with rulers by nuns older than time or had to memorize hundreds of pages in the Bible in order to graduate.
Actually, my time at my all-girls high school helped shape who I am, as well my faith, in a very positive way. I have a lot of respect for my institution as well as many crazy memories as a Sisters of Mercy girl. Here are 10 signs you went to an all-girls high school:
1. You complained about your uniform but it was actually the best thing to ever happen to you. You could roll out of bed five minutes before school, throw on your clothes and leave. Makeup was non-existent and hair an afterthought. You gave new meaning to the word “messy bun.”
2. You’ve been yelled at by nuns about your skirt being too short and/or your knee-high socks being down at your ankles. (But you really respect those women, since nuns were the original badass feminists. Don’t believe me? Read up on Hildegard of Bilgen and Catherine of Siena.)
3. You attended a Friday night dance at an all-boys school and when you got too close to your partner, a senior would tap you on the shoulder with the phrase, “Leave room for the Holy Spirit!”
4. At dances you were occasionally subject to some of the lamest, corniest Catholic pick-up lines possible. (“You just broke the seventh commandment – you stole my heart.”)
5. You got written up for a uniform violation in winter for wearing leggings or sweatpants under your skirt (because tights give you about as much coverage as, say, wearing tissue paper.)
6. Sperry’s were your favorite shoes. You wore them every day to school but would hold off on getting new ones because it was agony breaking them in. (Your heel and ankle bones would be covered in band aids for weeks.) Once you learned the trick about soaking them in water and sea salt, things got better. (Google it.)
7. Prayer was just part of your academic day. Every class opened with the Hail Mary. And you’d get out of class to go to church on holy days. (Whenever you hear that line from Star Wars “The force be with you,” you automatically think, “and also with you.”)
8. Because you had to take a foreign language during high school, you also know how to pray the Hail Mary in that tongue. You figure that has got to give you extra points in Jesus’s book (and help cancel out all the sins you committed during dances at the boys’ high school.)
9. You learned the importance of service and giving back to your community. The days where you served meals to the homeless or worked with children with special needs were some of your favorite of the school year.
10. Since every leader you saw was a woman, you never questioned for a moment that women can do anything. You were taught have a purpose in life and a responsibility to make the world better for having been in it. And no matter what challenges you confront in life, Jesus has your back.