Hend Elwahwah


Dr. Hall


   Expectations Vs. Reality


         Growing up in a private school my whole life, literally from Pre-k through 12th grade, had a large impact in my life. It has changed my learning experiences in various ways. Good and bad. Throughout that private school life I have experienced lots of joy, happiness, sadness, anxiety, mixed emotions overall. What I could definitely say is that I am very blessed for being in a private school all my life. This was a religious Muslim private school, which lead me to knowing my religion like the back of my hand, memorized more than half of our holy book, read and write my language so fluently and most importantly getting closer to God and having faith in everything. However, at the same time It was a very strict school and their norms were definitely not my norms, but sadly it was something I had to get used to.


        Coming into City Tech not having a clue of how it was going to be nor how the classes were going to be was very nerve wrecking for me. I still remember the first day I walked in school itself, thought to myself, is this what a public school looks like? As I got lost about 167 times trying to find my class I finally found it, walking in so nervous, felt so weird being in a class filled with diversity. Not to mention, the private school I had attended was all girl classrooms. It was a gender segregated school. Being around the opposite sex does not differ with me but it is something i need to get used to. When I say I have never attended public school a day in my life I really didn’t. First semester was very surprising for me, I didn’t know what to expect, felt a bit weird at first but I am a very open person and love to communicate with others so it wasn’t hard to get used to. Many people would think I’m shy but I’m total opposite. My learning experiences had changed a lot though. You can say in private you are more spoon fed. Rather than in public school you are all on your own. We were walked through everything instead of us learning on our own the steps for many things. Which was a good and bad thing and something me and all my classmates had took for granted. Private school is just different.

        Let me take you with me through one day of private school… As I’m walking in the building, removing my headphones, putting my phone away. The assistant principle stops everyone to make sure no one has makeup on and if you did they had makeup remover with them so they can give it to you to remove. After that I walk to the backyard if its a nice day out and if its cold I walk up the stairs to the auditorium and than we do sorta like a pledge you can say. Its 5 to 6 pages from our holy book to start our day. This was my favorite part! However, after that we go to our classes and stay in the same class from 8:30 – 3:10. Tragic, i know. Nope, we don’t do such thing named “travel” that most public schoolers do and are used to. Mind you, I’m with the same exact girls ive been with since pre-school. Fun and annoying at the same time, were all like practically sisters. Around 12:30, which is our prayer time, we would be called to go to the prayer room to make prayer with everyone, favorite part, part 2. After we’re done we would have the longest lecture with the principle and assistant principle talking about new rules and dress code. It was really annoying because it always just dragged with them speaking about the same things all the time, but that was one of the downsides of private school. The strictness.

         Coming into a public school had me shocked. There were so many differences compared to a private school especially a gender segregated one. Both private and public school have their pros and cons, educationally. Obviously, private school is education being paid for, therefore we had an upper hand in learning more and as much as I hated taking several AP classes in high school, they helped me alot throughout my college experience and most definitely saved me a lot of money in college. We were forced to take those classes to get our money’s worth in a way. Also, another pro from private school would be having a counselor whenever you need them, to help you with your steps in education and your future. In my opinion, city tech lacks that, ALOT. People like me that go to a private school all their life and end up going to a public college need the help they could get. Especially trying to get used to the public environment and where you would like to go with your education. However, a pro from city tech would be learning how to be independent. Something private school never taught you. Independency is key.


        My learning experience has actually changed drastically. Going from private to public real quick was just so different. I was so used to the same people, same routine everyday, looking the same everyday because we had to wear uniform, eating the same thing almost everyday. I got so sick of it and couldn’t wait to start college so I can have a different lifestyle. At the end of my senior year like the last couple of months, i started counting down the days till graduation. I was so sick of the same exact routine. I would literally go home and cry and complain that time was dragging. But, now that im coming into a public institution, I definitely miss private school. However, college is also a great experience but a learning experience I have to get used to. Put my mind to it. Having 2 different learning experiences has changed me in ways that I am thankful for.

         All in all, my learning experiences has shown me paths in life that i am thankful for. It has taught me 2 different ways when i am trying to learn something. Whether it’s in school, family, life in general. Therefore, i am very thankful for these learning experiences. It shows me different paths and ways i could think about things. Im looking forward to this journey i am on in a public institution to learn different things with a place filled with diversity. Something different to get used to but definitely looking forward to the change of learning experiences.


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