Public school vs private school


Gabriel Leonard, Editor

Blazer, dress shirt, tie and khakis… I wasn’t familiar with any of these things before making the biggest decision of my life in January 2017. I’m from Gaithersburg, Maryland and I attended Watkins Mill High School up until the second semester of my junior year.


After a lot of thinking I asked my parents if I could pursue transferring. There wasn’t anything wrong with Watkins Mill but I wanted to be apart of something bigger, something that would equip me better at what I wanted to do. DeMatha has a great lacrosse program and offers video broadcast journalism and journalism classes. These are things I didn’t have as much of at Watkins Mill. Transferring would allow me to be in an environment that would prepare me for college before I got there. I want to major in Communications so these classes would prepare me well.


I sat down and talked to my parents and they decided to let me pursue transferring, my school of choice being DeMatha Catholic High School. I live about an hour away from DeMatha so my parents weren’t very thrilled when I first told them where I wanted to go. We went through the admission process and I got accepted so I transferred in February 2017.


I remember my first day at DeMatha as if it were yesterday. There was a two hour delay due to ice and snow on the roads so I didn’t have to get up as early as I have to on a normal day. I wasn’t nervous at all but I was very excited. I already knew some people here so I wasn’t worried about making new friends.


When I got to school I was immediately hit with a sudden wave of confusion. At my old school, we didn’t have the block schedule rotation that DeMatha has. We had a standard 7 period schedule everyday from 7:45 to 2:30. I didn’t really understand the concept of interim period but I’m a fan of random free time in the middle of the day.


Throughout my day many students came up to me, greeted me and wished me luck. At that moment I knew I made the right decision to transfer. The brotherhood and excellence was clear to see and everyone made me feel very welcome.


The big differences between my public school and DeMatha were the dress code and that there wasn’t a teenage female in sight. My old school was coed and there was no dress code. You could have earrings and facial hair was allowed (that didn’t matter for me because I can’t grow facial hair anyway). Despite these new regulations, I still was 100% sure I made the right decision.

From there on out it was smooth sailing for the rest of the year. Things got better everyday. I got used to the new schedule and had a great first season playing varsity lacrosse. Everything about DeMatha pushed me to be a better student, athlete and man. Transferring was one of the best decisions I made. #OneDeMatha