Reflecting on the Transition from Public to Private School

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Reflecting on the Transition from Public to Private School

Lucas Ewing

Lucas Ewing

Lucas Ewing

Sofie Jones, Opinions Editor

          Coming to Concord Academy as a freshman was a departure for me. Not only was I starting high school, but I was also leaving the public school system in my town for the first time.

           My new classes of twelve felt tiny compared to the classrooms filled with over 25 students that I was used to. I was surprised by how available my teachers were to me and by the breadth of CA’s course offerings.  

           However, change is always a little odd and takes some time to get used to. At Orientation, I quickly realized that many of my new classmates, particularly day students, already knew each other from previous schools or from something called the “farm school” which I still hear stories of but will never understand. Although I was looking forward to making new friends, it also felt really daunting and unfamiliar to be one of the few students from public school.

           In those awkward first days of school conversations, I was also frequently asked why I had switched schools. People asked if I had hated it, or if it had been too ‘easy’. I would explain that, no, I actually had really enjoyed public school. My decision to apply to private schools had mostly come from wanting to try something different. I wanted to go to a smaller school that provided me the chance to focus more on my interests.

           With that said, I still have a lot of respect for the public school system and still remain close with many people I met through it. Therefore, I am still slightly confused when I hear my CA classmates dismiss students who attend public school or reduce them  to a stereotype. In the beginning there were times when I overheard friends and peers make off-the-cuff remarks about how public school kids dress, act, or disregard their academics.

           But besides those rare instances, I have found that no one talks about or remembers where others went to middle school by the late fall of freshman year.  Although most incoming students, especially those from public schools, may understandably feel intimidated at first, soon things like where you attended school will not feel nearly as crucial. New friendships, classes, and activities are what become much more important as your four years at CA begin. As you settle into the school year, the bond of CA’s student body will grow and you will form new friendships. That, to me, is one of CA’s greatest strengths and what makes this transition so exciting.