I looked in horror at the couple making out against the lockers. It was my first time seeing such things happening up close. They seemed so passionate and adult. So this is what public high school is like…
Prior to entering this concrete jungle, I attended a private Catholic elementary school. We went to mass every week, said morning prayers, wore plaid skirts and hair longer than shoulder length was tied back. Even the boys weren’t allowed to have hair touching their ears. “Couples” didn’t hold hands, least of all KISS in plain sight of others.
So yeah, my first day of public school was a big shock.
And the shock only continued.
I was appalled when I heard a student talking back to a teacher. Not only was the student being rude and disrespectful, he was using profanity. At my previous school, behavior like that would be unheard of. We would never call a teacher anything other than “Mrs. So-and-So” or “Mr.So-and-So”. Every time a person of importance entered the room, the entire classroom would stand and greet the person, “Good afternoon, Mr.So-and-so”. What a stark difference.
To this day, I still hardly ever paint my nails or wear makeup. Such things were not allowed. But one can also blame that on my overall character, since plenty of my previous classmates have no qualms with such things.
I remember feeling like the school was so large. At my previous school, each grade had about 60 kids in it. Many people, like me, had attended there from K-8th. So basically, everyone know everyone else. And you knew their entire family too, since their siblings were usually enrolled in a different grade. Compare this to my high school graduation, where I saw people that I didn’t even know existed in the four years I attended there.
Also, growing up I didn’t know anyone who wasn’t Catholic! Everyone at school was, or you assumed that they were. In high school, people didn’t talk or care about religion much. It was only in college that I learned more about other religious traditions and grew to really love learning about them!
Attending Catholic private school was really like living in your own little bubble. At the time it didn’t feel that way, and even now I like to think that my childhood was pretty normal. But when I describe my experiences to others, they think I’m really weird ahahaha!
All the same, I’m grateful for the experiences that I had. I had some of the best teachers, and still keep in touch with some of my friends 🙂 I’m still active in their community, and visit every once in a while. I feel like my experiences there have really had a hand in shaping who I am today.