Monday, April 14, 2008

Boarding School

I’ve always wanted to talk about this topic but I’m afraid it would cause some kind of…uproar because I know there’s a really fine line about this topic that no person shall go over. But I can’t help it anymore after hearing what a few people have to say. I guess if I want to be the better person I should just swallow my ego and let them think what they want. But then, it is as if saying you can think of me as a thief (which is a lie) without me correcting you because the thinking is 'you are free to think of me however you want.' I don't want that. I know it is unfair for me to judge a person if that person doesn't know me. So to be fair to the others, I'll give him the chance to get to know me. Therefore, I would like to take the time today to talk about why I didn’t go to a boarding school. Before I go any further (and you read any longer), I would like to remind you that this is my personal experience and my personal opinion. My opinion and yours would not need to be the same but that doesn't mean one is better over the other.

The story goes like this:

When I was in standard six, I really  wanted to go to a boarding school. Because being young and easily influenced by my surrounding, I accepted the idea wholeheartedly that a good student MUST go to a boarding school. Being my school’s top student, of course I felt I HAVE to go to one. I tried almost everything I can to get accepted into one (leaving my parents really confused of why I wanted to leave them so much at a young age.) Because I wanted to go so much that I kind of made a promise to myself that if I didn’t get accepted into one, I will not apply again when I’m in form three. It shows how determined I was to get that letter of acceptance then.

But God, as the best planner (as how my mum loves to call Him), knows better. He didn’t send me that acceptance letter. I couldn’t even explain the extent of my disappointment back then. I was my school top student, I was an active student, I can hell be independent. Why then did they not accept me? Some people tried to console me by saying that it’s because of my parents’ income. So I started to believe them eventually.

But an amazing thing happened to me after that. I entered a ‘Sekolah Harian’ and I experienced…life. There is just no other way to describe it. You go to school, the teacher taught you all that he/she can, you go back, and then you’re on your own. Okay I admit, so I did not have the chance to learn how to wash my own clothes or stuffs like that, but that aside, I do have to be independent. I know you're thinking I’m talking bull right now. How can I be independent when my parents are there all the time? Independence to me does not mean me being left on the street to mend on my own. Independence to me means that even after getting to know a few Mat Rempits, a couple of dropouts, one who got ‘accidentally’ pregnant and then some, I was still able to stay true to myself all along. That is independence. That is called adaptability. I was not surrounded by top scorers. I didn’t have teachers who stuck their noses in all my businesses. I just have people around me.

After experiencing and understanding all that, I appreciate more the saying, “It’s not where you study but HOW you study.” If people judge by my school exterior, they would think only losers would go to school there. Instead, I worked hard. I did my best in everything I do at school. I got good results. So when the time comes for us to apply again for a boarding school experience when I was in form three, I declined right there and then in the counselor’s office in front of everyone. (And it had nothing to do with my earlier promise to myself.) Until today I remember clearly what my counselor said, “Orang Melayu macam ni lah. Bila orang bagi peluang tolak. Bukan senang nak dapat peluang macam ni.” Me, being the partially cold-hearted person I am, his words didn’t had much impact on me. What opportunity? Is it opportunity for me to be surrounded by 'good' teachers? But then, who is to say that teachers from everyday schools are any less competent? Or is it the opportunity for me to get better informed about the world? But I have access to the Internet, television, and numerous newspapers if I stay at home. So tell me again, what opportunity?

The conclusion is, I stayed. For two years, I stayed at SMK SERI KERAMAT and worked my ass off on my own. My parents were there to give me moral support. My parents were also there to provide a comfortable environment for me to study. My friends were there when I wanted to do something crazy in order to make my five years at secondary school an experience I wouldn’t trade for the world. And I came out of it not just alive, but getting all that I prayed for. Now, where is it again stated that kids from a national schools are useless, lazy, and irresponsible, alas stuck where there are? You show me one good example, and maybe then we can argue about it.

Again, I would like to end this post by saying that this is what I went through. I TOTALLY understand if you enjoyed your time at boarding school. Hey, if everybody’s the same and everyone thinks like me, I wouldn’t be too happy either.



.kkbk. said...

hey there,, i was bloghopping when i came across ur blog and this entry,, and i must say,, i totally agree with u. i was offered a place in a boarding school (bs) earlier this year and most people said that the reason i rejected the offer is because i'm a momma's girl. even my friends who went there ,BS, stayed away from me and only hung out with their fellow schoolmate. it's annoying but i'm glad to say here that those experience has thought me a lot and i am sure i'll do better than those kids.this entry inspire me a lot. thank you. :)

Syaza said...

Good to know at least one person is inspired :)