Catholic in a Public School

I express my religion at school. Yes, I know, it is a shocker. Should I repeat it? I EXPRESS MY RELIGION AT A PUBLIC SCHOOL! I used to go to a Catholic school and I loved being able to express my beliefs everyday. However, I moved and the closest Catholic High School became almost an hour away with D.C. traffic. I now go to a public school and have decided to further embrace my religion and show it through my actions everyday.

I had started at my new high school, I did not know anybody,

Photo credit: Dan B., Papillion, NE
Author's comments about this article:
How would you react if you were thrown into a place where you did not even know the rules about religion?
yet I was able to make friends quickly and people were interested in the “new girl”. I did not really even think about my religion when I began at this public school because I did not even know if we were allowed to speak of it. I was intimidated and it was much easier to tuck it into the back of my head and pull it out solely if it was needed. The only mention of me being Catholic was when people asked where I had come from and I quietly replied, “a Catholic school”.

That all changed when I went to my first high school youth group meeting. I instantly met a few people who went to my high school even though it was about 30 minutes away. I was ecstatic! They were able to show me that expressing my beliefs at school was okay and I could stand up for what I believed in. This opened many new doors for me. I wore shirts from my ever-expanding collection of shirts from Catholic camps or get togethers. Some of you out there may say that that is only wearing a shirt and that does not change how I think or act. To that, I respond by saying that no, the shirt did not change me, but it reminded me that I could show people who I was because my religion was ingrained into my being and without it, I could not show people my true self.

I cannot lie. There were people who harassed me. I was often called a “good little school girl”, which any Catholic girl would know is an insult. It irritated me that because these people labeled me, they did not give me a chance to show them that I was not the Bible-worshipping freak that I was predicted to be. I actually had a life outside of school. I had been on my school’s gymnastics team for two years, participated in many clubs, volunteered in my spare time, and still made time to go to Friday night football games with my friends. I quickly realized that these people were not my friends. They had only liked me because they thought that I was the nice new girl who was willing to do whatever they wanted in order to fit in.

Now, as a junior, I hold my head high and take whatever comes at me. There are still a few sly jokes made. As a matter of fact, the other day, I overheard a person saying that whenever people come to public school from Catholic School, they are freaks. I only pointed out to him that I am from Catholic School and I walked away. I have learned how to answer the questions that come at me and have realized that the majority of the questions asked are not attacking me, but are sincerely curious. I love my religion and without it, I have realized that I am honestly not the same person.





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fireandrain This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. said...
Dec. 6, 2013 at 7:19 pm
Good for you. -Your Sister in Christ and Fellow Catholic
 
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