Until high school, I had never heard a school bell, known how to calculate GPA’s, or sat in the typical school desk. I am thankful for this. While at the time I didn’t know it, the purpose of this atypical experience was to make me think sideways. Instead of a bell, teachers orally dismissed students when our lesson was over. This taught me to take my time learning and value depth over breadth. Not having standard grades made me focus on the content, teaching me to learn because I wanted to, not because I had to. Sitting at tables rather than desks led to discussions with other students where we would break down our lessons and examine them from different perspectives. This environment taught me to embrace individual opinions and value collaboration over competition. Montessori taught me to embrace my curious nature and shaped the way I learn and interact with others. It created a foundation for who I am today, and I am beyond grateful.