I’ll tell you right from the start: I am not your typical Bais Yaakov Girl and I never was. The typical Bais Yaakov girl in my Graduate Program retreats into her shell or into any protective circle of other Bais Yaakov girls that she can find. Bais Yaakovs do not prepare you for this, they disprepare you.
I was lucky. More than that, I was warned, that passing my program as a lonesome island is impossible. Nobody in the world can pass my program without peer support. That meant, in short, that not only would I have to deal with a class full of mixed non-frummies for my very first time, but I would also have to make friends with them.
That was easier said than done. I’ll tell you the first and fastest thing I learned in grad school; I am alien and I never even knew it.