With fringes falling over my face and a pink trolley bag, I embarked on my first long-term journey away from home at eight. Never had I thought that I would have to stay away from my parents even for a day, and yet, here I was, going to boarding school.
Despite the initial misgivings, my school taught me some of the best lessons of my life, and most of them were outside the classrooms. Notwithstanding all the ups and downs, and my friends and classmates will vouch for this, those years made us who we are today.
To find happiness in the everyday experiences
Even though my boarding school was under a strict convent and mostly a stickler for rules, we all managed to sneak in our moments of joy. Not surprisingly though, a lot of these moments had to do with food!
Vasundhara, an advertising student, reminisces the years she spent studying at the Mussoorie International school, “I miss the food, that dripping cheese out of those Sunday morning cheese toasts. That meant everything to us at that moment.”
So what if you don’t have all the luxuries of home, having your friends around makes up for most of it. Vranda Dhall, a Business management student in London, tells us what she misses the most from her time spent at the All Saints’ College in Nainital. “I still giggle over that chaos before watching TV. Basically we had a single TV in each dorm so there were fights, laughter and a lot of commotion. Oh, also the bun tikki and the momos will always hold a special place in my heart.”
Learning to be your own support
I was just eight years old when I left for the boarding. Turns out that I became the newcomer who was always found crying and looking for ways to get back home. My sports teacher told my entire class to leave me alone. Anyone found consoling me would be reprimanded. Homesickness and adjusting to a new environment made life difficult. I cried for days at a stretch and not a single classmate of mine came to console me. After a week, I walked towards my sports teacher and thanked her for letting me be on my own. That incident taught me a very valuable lesson. Learn to be your own inspiration, because at the end of the day, you have to walk alone.
When all you have is your own support, you become stronger. You strive to do better with every failure that you encounter.
But also finding strength in friends
Suhavni Suri, a student at Pearl Fashion Institute shares with us how her friends became her family at the Mussoorie International School,“I miss the way my friends took care of me when I was sick during exams. I loved the way we all were so protective and supportive of each other.”
One of my biggest strengths in school were my friends. Growing up with each other during those crucial years of our lives cemented a bond that survives pretty much everything. Even today, I know I can count on girls from my school during the toughest periods of life.
Learning to accept both success and failure
My stay at the boarding school made me realize my hidden potential. I still remember getting a D grade in handwriting in the 3rd standard. After a year, I was awarded the best prize in English handwriting at the annual prize ceremony. Forget my friends, even I was shocked when my name was announced. Who knew that my D grade would turn into an A plus?
In little and big ways, my time at boarding school reaffirmed my belief in my strengths and my weaknesses. So unpredictable was our day-to-day experiences, that it taught us to accept everything thrown our way, good or bad, with a pinch of salt.
Understanding who we are
Palak Dhall, a business studies student at Amity University tells us how she went from hating to loving her boarding school. Describing her experience at the Hopetown Girl’s School in Dehradun, she said,“When I joined, it was just a school and a place which took me away from my home. The day I left my school, it had become an indispensable part of my life, a part of my identity.”
A journey away from home came with its own set of hurdles. But, going to boarding school taught me many things about my life, my abilities, and my dreams, and for that, it’s a chapter I’ll always remember fondly.