Young man with Oakland University baseball cap smiles.

From an All-Boys Private School to Oakland

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By Bridget Janis

Ethan Dimock is a 2018 Brother Rice graduate that now attends Oakland University. After having to transfer to the private, all-boys school due to distractions and wanting more individual help, Dimock had to learn to adjust back to a large, public educational setting once at OU. Dimock found the adjustment to be an entry into the real world.

Why did you start going to private school?

Young man with Oakland University baseball cap smiles.
Ethan Dimock poses for a picture after sharing his story about the journey from public school to Brother Rice, and then to Oakland University. Photo credit: Bridget Janis

I originally went to Bloomfield Hills High School, which is a public school. I chose to transfer to Brother Rice my second semester of my freshman year, because there were just a lot of people; it sounds like a generic answer, but there’s a lot of people at the public school and I had a hard time fitting in, because there’s a lot of clicks and groups. I couldn’t find my identity, plus I was getting bullied a lot on the swim team. So I thought a smaller atmosphere would be better.

What do you think you gained from going to a private school?

A more personal experience, because there were less people, so the teachers could concentrate on you more as an individual. Another aspect of why I transferred was because of the swim team – they had a really good swim team at the private school, and swimming was something that was very important to me at the time, and I wanted to advance my swimming career.

How did you feel about it being at an all-boys school?

I guess that… with the fact that we had uniforms, those two things combined helped eliminate all the distractions, so I could just focus on the classes and focus on the athletics, rather than getting distracted.

How was it transitioning from a private to a co-ed school?

It was hard at first because any setting where you have a bunch of boys together is going to be very competitive and everyone wants to be the alpha male. There were a lot of competitions about grades and sports and extra-curriculars and stuff, but once I got adjusted to that, it helped me be better, because I became competitive, too.

I didn’t mind [adjusting back to a co-ed school] that much; all the stuff that I gained from high school still remained with me – like me being competitive, and [caring] about grades, and athletics, and stuff like that. By then I’ve already grown used to that environment so coming here was a little bit strange at first, but only took me a couple weeks of kind of adjust.

By being so competitive, do you think that ever affects your environment here?

I don’t really know how to tone it down a notch. I’m always competitive no matter what now, whether it’s boys or girls because – that’s just the way I am. Whether it’s grades, or we’re playing volleyball or basketball and stuff like that, I always like to win. I guess the one negative is I’m a little bit too competitive sometimes.

Which type of school do you prefer – co-ed or the private, all-boys school?

Back then, I liked the all-boys setting more because it helped me to mature and build good habits; but now that I’m in college I like this a lot more, because it’s how the real world is going to be. Now that I’ve already built those good habits, I’m kind of getting acclimated to how the real world is.

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