You’d be surprised by the difference a couple miles and a $14,000 tuition could make between two high schools. They teach the same stuff (kind of) and you graduate with an equal diploma, so what’s the difference between the two?
From my first week at Peabody High, I immediately noticed a huge difference. I no longer felt lost in a sea of Vineyard Vine sweaters and boxy khakis. I saw individuality, people with the ability to wear leggings, open toed shoes, and even shorts that went above their knees! The hallways no longer reeked of self-entitlement and I no longer felt the pressure to navigate through the variety of high school cliques that came with being an outsider to the Catholic school system. Life is pretty hard when you find difficulty meshing with people from any of the multiple ‘Saint ___’ schools that line the Northshore. Although many of the students at Peabody high may be extremely opposed to the whole ‘no shoulders’ rule embedded into the dress code, I saw it as a blessing! I was free of the agonizing, and frankly quite uncomfortable, restriction of a close toed shoe (excluding moccasins and crocs???) , starchy khakis that excluded any embellishments or even a design on the pocket(!!!), and an embroidered polo. Imagine sitting in a classroom with 20 of your peers in the end (and beginning) of the year weather being forced to wear a knit polo and a thick pair of khakis. We were able to wear knee length shorts, but desperate to conform to the standards of what it is socially acceptable to wear, I, and every other girl in the school continued to wear khakis in the unairconditioned heat. Needless to say walking into Peabody High, I was overjoyed at the appearance of diversity and the lack of Lululemon-clad ponytails and blistered ankles from Sperry's that camouflaged Fenwick’s students.
The student population between Fenwick and Peabody was as drastic as you’d assume, however, the number of students in your individual classes is absolutely the same. I personally didn’t get a sense of teacher’s really devoting themselves to focusing on individual students like they’re rumored to do in schools with smaller class sizes. With that small class size, they also lacked A LOT of selections in their courses. Their honors and AP selection was pretty limited in comparison to public schools. Here at Peabody high, the ratio of hard working students is pretty equal to the amount of hard working teachers and I honestly don’t see a difference between the schools in that aspect. However, at both schools, some teachers still managed to mistake my name for Gabe sometimes.
Overall, I’m not trying to discredit any of the school’s staff or students or paint a menacing picture of Bishop Fenwick. I met some great people there and experienced some things both positive and negative in that year I spent there that have impacted who I am today. It’s a school for a certain type of person who I simply do not consider myself and I’m thankful that I was able to experiment in a new environment and truly understand where I feel more comfortable and able to succeed. Evidently, it was not there, that’s why I’m writing for ‘the Tanner Times’ and not ‘The Fenwickian’.