>Li’l things you do for me and nobody else…

>Are you enjoying the latest Vodafone commercials as much as I am? The one with the school girls?

It takes me back instantly to my school days – those years spent in powder blue skirts and blouses (and bloomers too, on days you followed the rules), plaited hair with matching ribbons to tie on the ends. Or hairbands and knee-length socks, shiny black shoes. Or white canvas keds for PT days, whitened using the school chalk generously. The years spent with girl friends.

Yes, I studied all my life in an all-girls school, and however uncool it may sound, they were so much fun. So there’s always this comparison about how all-girls or all-boys schools are so boring, so stereotyped. And that the kids studying there come out all wide-eyed about being in the company of the opposite sex. Not true, I say.

I spent 14 years in all-girls schools and three more in an all-girls college and I never missed the boys! It wasn’t a conscious decision, you know, to maintain a distance from the boys, but that’s how things panned out for me. And out of the school and college campuses, it wasn’t as if I didn’t not know how to handle male attention when it came my way. And I did not end up doing things to attract it. I have friends who’ve studied in co-educations schools, and I don’t think they’re any different than me. We’re only as different as two individuals can be. So I don’t understand this differentiation between co-ed and all-girls schools. I understand the differentiation between a good and bad school.

For the record, I am not againt co-education. I think it’s very healthy, etc. But I also don’t think that studying with girls decapacitated me in any way. On the contrary, I think being in a gender neutral environment helped, at least me, to look at myself for the person I was, and not the girl that a boy would see in me. And there are so many things I remember fondly about being in the environment that I was. There’s such comfort in not dying in embarrassment if you have a stain on your skirt in school, or you haven’t waxed your legs to roll down your socks, or having a cat fight without any gender stereotyping! And then there’s no shame in being a bright student, of being labelled a ‘padakhu’, of being a straight-As student. Those rather ‘uncool’ things are considered aspirational in an all-girls school.

No, I’m not oblivious to the joys of studying with boys. The Guy studied in a co-education school and I can rattle off all his school memories as well as him, because I’ve heard ’em discussed a zillion times between friends. And I know, they had a ball! They were fun and flirty years. And I’d be lying if I said I feel just a tad jealous. But in all fairness, my school years may not have been high on those same parameters, but they still had a sweetness. Like the sweetness of pine trees in the woods – subtle but unforgettable.


14 responses »

  1. >Oh yes I loved this series 🙂 and talking about school days…aha..we can talk endlessly about them,hai nah ?Good that it didn't affect you in any way being in all-girls school/college. But there are girls I've come across who go beyond limits to please the fist guy they see when they're out of the all-girls campus and also one of my friend studying in a reputed all-girls university mentioned that her classmates literally fall for the male professors not matter how does he look or speaks or thinks :DEverything has its own benefit,so there 🙂 Nothings wrong or right…how you take it and what you make out of it is either wrong or right 🙂

  2. >We had the same dress code.. I still can't wear sky-blue without getting nostalgic. Ours was an all-girls school too and I totally LOVED it… no regrets.. no "I'm missing all the fun." Cheers to your post.

  3. >I totally get what u said!I did nearly all my years in all-girls and 3 yrs of degree in co-ed.. I honestly, enjoyed my school better.. It was easy to build confidence and also concentrate on studying without the craziness of boys around!

  4. >OMG, D – this post cud have been so written by me. Loved it, for its so true in my case too. Till class 10th i was in an all girls convent. And no i had no difficulty when i went to a co-ed school for 11th and 12th. in fact i had way too much fun in my all girls school. some friends i made then are still with me!

  5. >Love the post ..brings back a flood of memories…and yes sky blue and beige it was for me too in my all girls school…went onto a all girls Grad college…and though I dont know if its any fair making comparisons…but I agree with you a gender nuetral environment helped me grow..I was not tied down by things which were expected of me because of my gender…it was liberating and I learnt so much…did not make me feel at a disadvantage ever..quite the opposite rather.

  6. >I have never been in an all-girls school/ college but don't get why some people crib about it so much. I think u can be what u r wherever u r 🙂 Infact, a few of us girls thought that it was totally cool to be in an all-girls school and escape the antics of all those boys 😉 But then, grass is always greener on the other side!

  7. >well…u know my views on co ed vs all girls education. While I don't think the all girls people turn out all bad or desperate, I do believe a co-ed edu right from the start is healtheir because that's what the real world is like and the sooner we get to live those dynamics, the better off we are!

  8. >While I thought differently when i was younger, i am completely with you, on what you say in this post today. I think both kinds of educational environments have their pros and cons. Infact a study in UK, showed, that women developed better leadership skills in an all-female environement, because they did not need to compete with males, who are by nature more aggressive, to get into leadership positions. Also women in all-female environments form stronger bonds and relationships with each other, when competing for male attention is not a factor. So there… its all good. 😀

  9. >@Scribbler: I know of so many girls like that from co-ed schools. So, I just think it must be an individual behavioral things. I don't agree with the slotting.@Obssesivemom: You're from Lko and you had the same uniform. Wow! I must know you?@Dee: Yeah, boys can be a huge distraction, can't they? ;)@Iya: Oh yes, nothing quite like our girl friends 🙂

  10. >@Chrysalis: Exactly my point.@Swaram: I agree – you can be whatever you wherever you are. But some environments are more conducive for that than others.@Chandni: I'm with you on that only partially. If girls' schools don't make a dent in their students' personalities, but then why are co-ed schools healthier? Also, my point is just that for better or for worse, all-girls education is fun too.@Goofy: That vindicates my point. Thank you for the info!

  11. >I have been in co-ed all my life and during adolescence one thing being in a co-ed reminds you of is your gender. That consciousness took deep roots in me, don't want to judge if it's good or bad. But if being in an all-girls' helped you look at yourself without any bias..it looks more lucrative now! 🙂

  12. >D,Many a times I'm a silent spectator to your blogs:) and most others I read. I read them in office where unfortunately commenting is blocked . I decide I'll come back home and comment but most times don't get the time:( some of your posts echo my thoughts :)I have spent 11 years in all girls school, had a blast, did my graduation and post graduation in professional strwams where ratio is boys to girls was 8:1. My best friends from post school days are guys and pre school are girls. All special, all still in touch, all the same even tday:)I agree with every word you've written and this post brought back tons of great memories from school as much as those vodafone ads did. Had blogged about it weeks back here http://grangergab.com/2010/11/08/little-things-you-do/keep writing, I know it gets difficult to devote time to blogging but it is one place where we bloggers can speak our mind out loud without having to worry too much:))

  13. >@Obssesivemom: Yeah! 🙂 But we were four sisters. You would know one of them at least ;)@wildflower: I think, it did help me to develop gender-neutral faculties in my personality. @grangergab: Hey, what a coincidence – your post is called the same as mine! Will hop over to read it right away. And comments or no, keep reading 🙂

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