Sometimes, I feel like the transition between my life in public schools and then in a private high school was more dramatic than I give credit. I mean, I’m so glad that I’m at the school I’m at. So far, I’ve had a lot of amazing opportunities and experiences. However,the transition was still pretty hard for me. I come from such a liberal family in so many respects and such a liberal education that it was hard for me to adapt to the kinds of people I was now immersed with. I was so used to that level ground. In public school, teachers don’t talk about religion or faith. I mean, you just don’t talk about it. It’s not important. You just go to school and learn and everyone is so different. Everyone comes from such different backgrounds that it’s impossible to talk about it without offending someone. Faith made no difference. It was non-existent. It was Switzerland. So when I was thrown into an atmosphere where a large percentage of people believed in the same thing, it sent me in a tail-spin. Going to mass in school? I never dreamed. I made friends easy. I mean, obviously, there were people like me. People whom I shared common interest with. But up until high school, I had no experience in the Catholic church or Catholic teaching. A lot of the kids I go to school with come from intense Catholic families. How was I supposed to deal with that? I guess the best way to describe it to someone who hasn’t been through this, is culture shock. I’m never one to support stereotypes… (Like private school kids are snobby and vise versa.) It was just so different! Catholics are very accepting but they’re very strong in their beliefs. With all due respect, I disagree with quite a few of those beliefs. Don’t get me wrong, there were good things and bad things. I’m just not a Catholic. I don’t come from a Catholic family. I’d never taken a theology class in my life. I didn’t even think you could have mass in school.
I guess the reason I wrote this post – is so that anyone who reads can be more aware. Transferring schools is something that I recommend to anyone who is unhappy. I had an amazing childhood in the Milwaukee Public Schools. But when it came to high school, Pius was a better fit for me. I’m here, mostly because Pius has an amazing fine arts department that I’m starting to become heavily involved in. The whole Catholic thing was not such a huge deal. You get used to it, and they’ve never tried to shove their faith down my throat. Private school is just very different. The kids are different, the teachers are different, the atmosphere… It’s been a cool experience. Like I said, I’m happy where I am. But changing schools is hard, so treat the new-bes at your school well. Be accepting of everyone.