Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a special blend of crazy. Here are 20 telltale signs that you are an alumna from a one-of-a-kind elite all girls private school.
1. You remember the days when knowing boys was a big deal.
Your first encounters with the opposite sex were probably at Knickerbocker classes or dances held at Doubles.
2. You graduated in white.
Your school had a tradition of floor length gowns or summery minis. Either way, a photo of you in your dress was sent to the dean weeks in advance for approval.
3. You frequently attended school assemblies about the objectification of women.
Your headmistress walked a fine line between her speeches awakening your inner warrior to fight for gender equality and making you so sick of hearing about women’s issues that you hated the word feminism.
4. You had an official uniform.
Alumnae reunions and holiday concerts were the banes of your existence because you had to wear a crisply ironed white oxford shirts and formal dark colored shoes.
5. You had mandatory community service days.
These YSOP trips were the first time many of your friends ventured above 96th street or took off their Cartier love bracelets.
6. None of your friends knew how to drive, but many had drivers.
A few might have signed up for drivers ed at Dalton, but none actually went.
7. At least once, you cried over a B+.
Chances are there were 3-4 girls sobbing in the bathroom at any given time.
8. Discussing therapists was a common lunchtime occurrence.
Almost everyone had a shrink, but somehow the stigmas around mental illness remained strong and at least a handful of girls suffered from severe eating disorders.
9. You and your friends obsessed over each new male teacher.
The fact that he might have been clearly homosexual or had a loving wife and three kids was irrelevant.
10. You remember the drama surrounding Frost Valley.
What started generations ago as a way for socialites to meet their future husbands became four days of absolute chaos to attempt to get boys and girls to partake in bonding exercises in the middle of what was undoubtedly a frigid February.
11. Having your period was never a valid excuse.
While your friends at coed schools were given an rx from gym during their time of the month, you got nothing. But, all the bathrooms were stocked with free tampons.
12. On that note, you changed for gym in the middle of the hallway.
You were required to wear shorts under your skirt anyway and you saw no point cramming in the bathroom just to remove one layer.
13. The letters AAIS make you queasy.
Small class sizes meant that most sports teams didn’t have cuts. It was likely that you had to compete in a tournament in which all the other league schools were present even if you sucked.
14. Many of your classmates came back from summer break with new noses.
It never got less awkward trying to figure out if you should compliment the person like you would if she got a new haircut, or to pretend you didn’t notice the enormous change in the shape of her face.
15. Half of your grade left in 9th grade for coed boarding schools.
While you were devastated to lose some of your BFFS, you got a bunch of new blood which ultimately bettered your grade’s dynamic.
16. You never ate lunch at school, despite your parents paying 6 grand a year for the plethora of options in your cafeteria.
Your half an hour lunch blocks were spent running to Yura, Three Guys, or Sweetgreen.
17. To this day, you have strong opinions about Browning and Collegiate.
Are Browning Boys the worst? Or are Collegiate Kids?
18. There was always a reason to be dieting.
Whether it was to get bikini ready before Paradise Island for spring break or to slim down before prom, it was inevitable that many of your classmates would be chowing on kale or detoxing with a juice cleanse.
19. Instead of the famous, “you wouldn’t know my boyfriend, he goes to another school” your twist was “you wouldn’t know my boyfriend, he’s not in interschool.”
This meant that your significant other maybe went somewhere like Fieldston. Or even more shockingly, a place like Bronx Science.
20. You were constantly asked two questions: is your life like Gossip Girl? Is everyone at an all female school lesbian?
The answer to both: a resounding no.