A belief that I have come to hold after starting high school is that private schools fall short of the most important benefits that public schools have to offer. I have learned this through my own personal experience of going to a catholic grammar school for nine years, and then transitioning to the public high school that I currently attend. Of course, the main purpose of going to school is to gain a good education that will help you be successful in the future. This belief I do hold true; both private and public schools grant this opportunity.
But public schools and private schools each grant an entirely different social experience, and the social experience, in my opinion, is much more valuable than the academic experience. Along with gaining an education, part of being successful in life is learning how to interact and form relationships with people who are different from you. In grammar school, the majority of the people I met were white, Catholic, and of the same learning ability. Every day at school, students were expected to wear uniform clothes, uniform hair styles, and learn at a uniform pace.
There were no accommodations for people with slower learning paces; everyone was expected to keep up. Growing up, this is how I expected all schools were like. For nine years I was almost blinded to the fact that people of different religion and learning pace, even physical appearance, even existed in the real world. But the fact is there are more types of people than Catholics and quick learners. For this reason, I decided to branch out and try something new by attending a public high school. My freshman year of high school was an amazing eye-opener for me.
I met a greater variety of people in a single classroom at high school than I did in my entire grammar school career. I have met people with long hair, short hair, black hair, and purple hair. I have met people with different religions, and others with no religion at all. I have met people who are two years ahead of everyone else, and others who are two years behind. There are jocks, musicians, bookworms, and others with interests outside the school, but no one is judged for that; people can be whoever they want to be.
I admit, all this freedom of expression was overwhelming to me, but at the same time, it was refreshing. Meeting so many different students, and also teachers, with so many different interests made me that much more interested in meeting more people. This experience made me realize how valuable the social aspect of a public high school really is. In the future, when I go to college and begin my career, I will be meeting and working with people who have different backgrounds than my own. For this reason, I will never regret the decision I have made in attending a public high school.
I have heard adults tell me that high school is going to be the best four years of my life. So far, they are right. I am so grateful for the opportunity to experience a public high school. I cherish every experience and relationship that I have made in my first three years of high school so far. Of course, as I move on with my life, I will value the education that high school has granted me. But it is the relationships that I have made with students and teachers that I will take with me as I graduate high school and move on to college.