At dTHS, High School ‘Doesn’t Feel Like a Competition’

As a new freshman, when you walk through the doors of high school, all you know is how high school is depicted in the movies. You have the sports fanatics, the jocks, the geeks, the popular girls, and the STEM kids.

Coming to de Toledo, I was definitely expecting those things, but I learned quickly that isn’t our culture. Instead, our culture is being surrounded by family, kindness, community, and friendship. There aren’t many high schools around that feel like you are a part of something greater than yourself. Although teens these days are still competitive– whether it comes to getting the perfect score on a test, building the best resume, or the college admission process–at dTHS, it doesn’t feel like a competition. We are a family who celebrate each other’s accomplishments instead of wallowing in jealousy. 

A big factor that helps the student body not indulge in jealousy or create competition is the environment that we learn in. We aren’t the typical private school. We don’t wear uniforms or eat in a cafeteria. We dress comfortably to fit our own unique personalities, we go to camp with our teachers, we joke with our teachers, we hug one another, we learn how to become A+ human beings. Our teachers check in on us, and most of all, we learn in a place where there are happy faces every corner I turn. 

Things that only the jocks might do at large mainstream schools are human nature to de Toledo students because of the fun environment. If you are a real de Toledo student, you have  the urge to sit in the front at school events, you stand up and dance around at assemblies, and you express happiness if you make the de Toledo Instagram page.

If dT students didn’t act the way they act, then the overall vibe of our school would not be what it is. This all comes back to trying new things. I know it is cliche to say, but it is so true: you only get out what you put in.

Also, you can’t be scared about what other people think. I agree that is easier said than done, but in our community, what you do, you never have to do alone! If you want to get up and dance at Tefillah, but you are scared of what other people will think, all you need are those one or two friends to do it with you. If you don’t really get into the spirit, you won’t see the beauty of de Toledo.

Time was taken away from everyone during the pandemic, so, to the class of ‘25, be grateful you will have an in-person four years. Class of ‘24, be grateful you will get to go on all of your  trips, like Israel and the South. And, to the Class of ’23, please lead this school next year with the values it was founded on.

de Toledo, thank you for everything.   


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