These Stories From Former Catholic School Students Are So Real

Photographed by Rockie Nolan.
Even if you didn't attend Catholic school, you probably already have a few images in your head of what it's like. Frumpy uniforms, daily prayers, and mean nuns (thanks to that one Death Cab For Cutie lyric) probably leap to mind.
Overblown stereotypes about going to Catholic schools abound, but there certainly is something universal about the experience. For one thing, those uniforms really were a blessing (you don't have to worry about what you're going to wear every day!) and a curse (seriously, why did those skirts have to be so long?).
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If you feel transported at the very sound of "Let us offer each other the sign of peace," you're not alone. We asked the R29 community to share memorable moments from Catholic school, and they did not disappoint. Yes, the uniforms and prayers are there, but so are a few elements that we were not expecting (ghost nuns, anyone?).
Just goes to show that no one leaves Catholic high school (or middle school or elementary school, for that matter) without a few stories to tell. Ahead, we share the things we'll never forget about Catholic school — whether we want to or not. Share your own fond memories in the comments.
1 of 12

'Conduct' marks for talking during class

Name: Caitlin
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary, middle, and high school

"While I was typically a straight A student, I often got 'conduct' marks for talking during class. Conducts would prevent you from getting on the honor list, so when she would read my grades, she would strongly emphasize the word 'conduct' in a way that still gives me the shivers... I will say — I am still best friends with several of my Catholic school friends, and we still laugh about all of the ridiculous things we did throughout our adolescent years."
2 of 12

We were 'punished' by writing lists about how great the other was

Name: Candace
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary school

"When I got into an altercation with a male classmate, we were 'punished' by writing lists about how great the other was. The goal was to have us sit in the room, talk, and be friendly when we hadn't before. If I remember correctly, the prompt was, '50 Nice Things You Didn't Know Before Today.'"
3 of 12

I didn't know what a nun was

Name: Bit
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary school

"We didn't have nuns, so I didn't know what a nun was. All of the kids knew that the girls' bathroom was haunted by nuns, though, so for the longest time, I honestly thought a nun was a kind of ghost."
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4 of 12

Making room for the Holy Spirit

Name: Alex
Attended Catholic school for: High school

"Making room for the Holy Spirit at every school dance."
5 of 12

We were all 'too drunk to notice'

Name: Kate
Attended Catholic school for: Middle and high school

"During our back-to-school mass my senior year, our headmaster told everyone something about religion being important, but that we were all 'too drunk to notice and too sexually aroused to care.'"
6 of 12

Daily prayers before every class in high school

Name: Gabriela
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary, middle, and high school

"We had daily prayers before every class in high school. The teachers did a thing called 'special intentions,' where kids could raise their hand and say what they were praying for. This would take, like, 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how many people said something. So everyone in the class would raise their hands to take up more time before class (sometimes taking, like, 30 minutes in an hour class), and would sometimes say ridiculous things like 'I pray for rock 'n' roll' (it was high school, after all). Needless to say, our teachers ended up completely banning 'special intentions.'"
7 of 12

Your entire world would go to shit if you even thought about having sex

Name: Amanda
Attended Catholic school for: Middle school

"I had a religion/theatre teacher that quite literally scared us into ever having sex. I remember her making it seem like your entire world would go to shit if you even thought about having sex. Couple of girls cried when she gave the sex ed talk. There was also tons of drinking and smoking in the bathrooms, but that's to be expected."
8 of 12

Running around trying to find a blazer

Name: Cory
Attended Catholic school for: High school

"We had to wear blazers to mass, which occurred the first Friday of every month, but blazers weren't part of our daily uniform. The morning of, everyone would frantically be running around trying to find a blazer (nice teachers kept extras in their locker), and if you didn't have it, you would get, like, three demerits. You also had to have socks that covered your ankles, because ankles are scandalous."
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9 of 12

They used to check our skirts

Name: Ellyn
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary and middle school

"They used to check our skirts to make sure we didn't roll them up or hem them too short. We'd have to kneel, and if the skirt didn't brush the floor, [we'd get] detention and a call home, and if it was hemmed, you had to buy a new skirt. Did I mention our uniforms were green and yellow? Yuck!"
10 of 12

We would cut our nice, white, button-up shirts

Name: Colleen
Attended Catholic school for: High school

"We would cut our nice, white, button-up shirts into crop tops/questionably child's bibs so that we could wear them under our sweaters without having to tuck them in."
11 of 12

Realizing that Communion bread and wine are actually literally supposed to be Jesus' body and blood

Name: Katie
Attended Catholic school for: Elementary, middle, high school, and college

"After 10 years in Catholic school, realizing that Communion bread and wine are actually literally supposed to be Jesus' body and blood, and thus we are all cannibals."
12 of 12

My teacher mentioned how expensive birth control was

Name: Helen
Attended Catholic school for: Middle and high school

"During my freshman year of health/sex ed class, there was a moment when my teacher mentioned how expensive birth control was and how you had to get your parents' permission for it. So, I raised my hand and stated you could get it at Planned Parenthood for free. Safe to say there were a few concerning looks thrown my way."
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