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Where the Boys Aren’t: Why I Value my All-Girl Education

For my own personal high school search, it was always Mercy. I decided to follow in my older sister’s footsteps and attend the all-girl Catholic high school just two minutes away from my house and across the street from my grade school. I was never upset about this situation and was excited to move on to my high school years. My freshman year, everything was new and exciting and I never gave a second thought to the fact that it was a single sex school. Overwhelmed with making a whole new set of friends and adjusting to a more independent schedule, I didn’t even stop to think that there were other high schools that were much more different than mine. 

Five sophomores on Mercy Day 2018

Although of course I knew that I was going to a single sex school, but I didn’t once take the time to genuinely think about co-ed schools. By sophomore year however, when I was much more settled in at Mercy, I started to realize that many schools do things differently. While this was a realization, it didn’t come with any regret over my decision to attend Mercy. In just one year, I felt comfortable and completely able to call it my second home. This is something that I can attribute to the all-girl environment. It is impossible for me to walk into a class at Mercy and not think about how all the girls there are my sisters.

In grade school I was very shy and afraid to raise my hand for fear of being called a “know it all”. At Mercy I don’t even think twice about speaking class, which has helped me academically. I have never been afraid to ask multiple questions in one class period. I know that I am getting so much more out of my education because of the all-girl environment of Mercy. 

The 2017-18 Student Council

On top of improving academically, all-girl schools help young women become strong, independent leaders. The article “Why Girls’ Schools” by the NCGS states, “At the heart, girls’ schools are places of leadership. Places where community and collaboration, agency and self-efficacy flourish.” The article expands on this message, explaining that when all roles of the school are filled by girls, it sends a positive message to the underclasswomen that anything is possible. This has been one of my favorite things about my time at Mercy; the empowerment of women. 

Going to an all-girl school has been one of the best decisions of my teenage life. It helped me find my true self, develop real friendships, and excel academically. I wouldn’t give up my years at Mercy for anything because I know it has positively affected me in ways that will stay with me for the rest of my life.  

Emily Erlbacher
Senior at Mercy and proud member of the Optimism Club, the volleyball team and Student Council.
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