There are a few paths one can take when it comes to education. There’s public school, private school, or boarding school. Every path has its benefits and drawbacks and it’s up to the parents to decide which will benefit their child. Most people go with the easiest option of public school but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, parents find it beneficial to enroll their children in a boarding school like the Institut auf dem Rosenberg because they feel it will allow them to develop more life skills, benefit from smaller class sizes, and better resources. And my parents opted to enroll me into a private school.

“Private school? Those students have their lives handed to them. They are just sheltered little rich kids who don’t have to deal with the real world. They have it easy. They won’t have to worry about ever struggling. Their just living inside their perfect little bubble that no one can burst” – Outsiders point of view.

The quotes above are combinations we have heard through our time in a private all girls high school, and let us tell you nothing was ever perfect. Behind those perfectly pressed plaid kilts, hid scars from the pain. Apparently, private high-schools similar to Ravenscroft have effectively supported those that are struggling in their time at the school but not everyone has access to that kind of support. Past the thick wool blazers, hid the quick weight lost. Under the loads of makeup, hid the dark circles from late nights. Sometimes even the makeup couldn’t repel the tear marks. Even the messy buns had a deeper meaning than a fashion trend. Thankfully nowadays schools similar to these private schools in houston have a good support network for those who are having a hard time fitting in, in school.

Growing up in a private school environment we are told to cast all our worries to God, for he will save us. In reality no amount of prayer releases the pressure that weighed on our chests and in our minds. This was not because we didn’t believe in God, but because all our problems were brushed to the side. In a school with about only 300 students, gossip got around quick. You would think in a school this small the signs would be noticed. Some teachers noticed, but more teachers who turned their heads.

“Were the signs not that obvious, or were we just that good at faking it?”

You would think that in these four years in a small school that we would all get alone, and all feel important. That’s not how it felt. Must days we felt invisible, like we didn’t know anyone, not even ourselves. For some of us hid behind our uniforms trying so hard to just breathe. Some days it felt as though we were ten feet underwater trying to reach the top. Time stood still, nothing felt like it was changing. We got use to waking up every morning and faking a smile to get through the day. We tried so hard to laugh, and to smile without feeling that emptiness inside our stomachs.

“Sticks and stones will break your bones, but words will never hurt you.” –unknown.

Boy, is that statement false. For many nights we spent analyzing simple statements used against us. Words stick with you forever, even the least harmful ones. People don’t realize how harmful words can be, until it’s too late. Even statements that seemed as jokes could stab us right through the heart.

If you weren’t an honors student or athletic it was like you were no one. It felt as though the faculty didn’t care about anything, but these two groups. We were the choir “freaks,” the ones who liked art and plays. Did the other students and faculty realize we spent as much time learning songs and harmonies? Girls put their hearts into playing on the field. Others stuck their heads into the books. People like us? We tried so hard to be what everyone else thought was best for us.

Looking back at high school now we ask ourselves why weren’t we seen as, “good enough.” For many nights we stayed up late studying for that test we only received a C on. Helping each other fight that battle inside our minds. Seeing the signs in our fellow peers and trying to reach out. We fought so hard everyday to just get up in the morning. We barley even remember sleeping, not because we were out late, but because we couldn’t silence our minds.

“Cast our your worries to God.” See it wasn’t that simple. What we really needed to hear was simple, “You are good enough.” It is okay to be different and to walk a different path. Mental Health is a part of who we are, but it isn’t all of us. Going to a private school we were seen to be sheltered, we weren’t. It just somehow felt like a sin to express our battles inside our heads.

We did go to a private school, but we were not sheltered. Sure we did have many opportunities, but we did not just have them handed to us. We went to a small school, but it didn’t mean we liked everyone. We did go to church, but it didn’t mean we all were nice to everyone. We have a mental illness, but it doesn’t mean we can’t follow our dreams.