Two years of all-boys classes on an all-boys campus to seven weeks on two campuses in almost all coed classes has been quite the change.
I was not quite sure how I felt about having five classes at Convent for the first time, just as I was beginning to grasp the concept of high school as I headed into my third year. I knew it was going to be different from my experiences as an underclassman, and I wasn’t sure if I was excited for the changes to come or wishing to replicate my experiences of the past two years.
In the all-boys environment of Stuart Hall, I had grown into an almost artificial sense of confidence. I was never afraid to speak my mind, wear what I wanted, and be exactly who I wanted to be.
But coming into my first Blue day, where I spend the entire day at 2222 Broadway, I decided it might be better to be less outspoken, less Owen. I would be more subdued and make sure that I didn’t rub anyone the wrong way.
But this quiet demeanor made me feel just as uncomfortable as if I had been myself from the first day.
So I stopped being some other person with a quiet disposition, and reverted to the only way I knew. Saying what I felt, doing what I wanted, and trusting that my personality would be more popular than my contrived exterior.
Unsurprisingly, the way I was treated in this new environment was not very different from the way I was received at the Octavia campus.
In hindsight, I am not surprised because both campuses are filled with like-minded individuals who share a common set of values. A campus filled with predominantly girls may feel a little less like home than the light green hallways of Stuart Hall, but what makes a home is not the walls and floors, but the people contained within it.
We may wear different uniforms, play for different sports teams, or write for different newspapers, but we’re all still a part of the same community.
Gender differences can be awkward and dramatic, especially in the single-sex environment where coed experiences are about as common as the summer sun in San Francisco. But as I look forward to these last two years of my education, I no longer see it as an intense coed experience, but as an opportunity to be a part of a greater community and affect those outside of just Stuart Hall.