Lauren Forsell of Ursuline High School

By LAUREN FORSELL
URSULINE HIGH SCHOOL, JUNIOR, 16

If you were to ask any ordinary high school student if he or she would be willing to give up having co-ed classes, most likely the student would say absolutely not. In fact, when I was in eighth grade and told my friends that I decided I wanted to go to Ursuline, an all-girls, private high school, almost all of them replied, “Why Ursuline? I could never go to an all-girls school!” I couldn’t disagree more with this statement. Choosing to go to Ursuline was the best decision I have ever made. A single-sex high school education has advantages that can only lead to ultimate success for a student.
The most important advantage of a single-sex high school education is being able to gain self-confidence. When I am in a class of all girls, I do not feel self-conscious about asking many questions or taking longer than everyone else on a test. I also do not feel self-conscious about what I look like on a certain day. It isn’t uncommon for a girl attending Ursuline to arrive at school wearing no makeup or with her hair thrown up in a loose ponytail.
In the classroom, I do not feel pressured to be someone I am not. This self-confidence I have gained in the classroom has enabled me to be comfortable with who I am and realize that impressing the opposite sex is not ultimately important to my success in high school. Furthermore, at Ursuline I am able to be in an all-girls math class and an all-girls science class, and this also gives me self-confidence because it contradicts the common stereotype that boys have science and math brains and that science careers are only for boys.
According to sirs.com, UCLA’s Graduate School of Educational and Informational Studies recently conducted a national study that showed that upon entering college, more girls from a single-sex school rated their confidence in math and computer science skills higher when compared with those from co-ed schools. Therefore, an all-girl setting enables girls to see that it is possible for them to excel in these challenging subject areas. Self-confidence is an extremely important contributor to success because it allows for someone to be who they really are and to pursue whatever dream or goal they would like, free from worrying about what the opposite sex will think of them.
Having the opportunity to attend an all-girls high school and to have single-sex classes is an extremely special experience in my life because it has shaped the person I am today. The self-confidence I have gained has replaced the doubtfulness and disbelief in myself. Today, I am a person with the courage and strength to be whomever I want to be with my own goals and visions for my future.
If all girls had the experience of a single-sex high school education, it would empower them and not only increase their confidence upon entering college, but this confidence would stay with them throughout their entire life, contributing to making them successful women in the world.