9 Misconceptions About NYC Private School Kids

NYC Prep was one of our worst moments.

1. They’re all 1 percenters

The students who attend the private schools in NYC come from all walks of life, backgrounds, and ethnicities. Not only does attending a private school in NYC not guarantee that you’re a 1 percenter, but the mere fact that the parents of these children are dishing out a pretty penny for their child’s education makes this even less likely.

2. They do lots of cocaine

Drug use at private schools is really not too different from drug use at public schools. Of course coke exists and is used by some but in my experience the drugs of choice were always alcohol and weed.

3. They chill on the steps of the MET

Some of the best NYC private schools aren’t even located in the city, let alone on the upper east side near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. They do love a good stoop, preferably one on a side street where they can also smoke a joint, but the steps of the MET are reserved for tourists and hot dog vendors.

4. They’re all spoiled

This generalization is so dumb and unfounded, I can’t stand it. If you went to a private school in NYC, then you were inevitably involved in at least one extracurricular activity. Going to one of these schools means juggling an intense workload with volunteer tutoring sessions, a position on the school yearbook, and soccer practice. These kids are taught the importance of generosity and discipline at a young age.

And the same goes for the parents of these kids. They weren’t necessarily born into wealth. Practically every one of my high school friends’ parents worked themselves up from the bottom and instilled (or tried to instill) a similar sense of modesty and resilience in their children.

5. They wear over-the-top designer clothing to school

Quite the opposite in fact. Most days at NYC private schools the student body looks as if they’re partaking in a student-wide competition of who can wear the comfiest clothes to school. For two years straight the only shoes I wore were L.L. Bean moccasins or UGG slippers. Not a proud moment, but a moment nonetheless.

6. Masquerade balls and galas are commonplace

Wrong again! In a similar vein, these kids don’t have ball gowns at their disposal either. The only thing that comes close to this are the bar and bat mitzvahs of yesteryear. But even that’s not guaranteed to be extravagant. My bat mitzvah party was held in the basement of my synagogue.

7. Their lives are glamorous and beautiful

One stereotype about NYC private schools that IS true is the supremely competitive environment that they cultivate. Such pressure does not make for a calming environment, but rather incites teen angst and all of its baggage: anxiety disorders, eating disorders, drug addictions, the list goes on. Family problems are pervasive as well and are often swept under the rug too.

8. They are hyper sexual

Like any other school in the world, sexual activity varies, but to say NYC private school kids are more sexual or promiscuous than public school kids is just false. Perhaps kids raised in NYC are more promiscuous than those raised elsewhere, but there’s no proof of that either!

9. The schools are exclusive and difficult to get into

I went for my Horace Mann interview when I was 2-years-old. I spit up on the interviewer, was picking my nose the WHOLE time, and then tried eating the building blocks they handed to me, but not before trying to fit them in my butt. Long story short, I got in. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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