I’ve spent most of my life between the tall, thorny fences of boarding schools. I was only 8 when I first stepped into that door, which, little did I know, was going to be something that shaped my life—for good or bad.
It was a strange time, honestly. Strange because I have a vivid memory of it. Strange because why the hell did nobody stop me from going there. Strange because I was too green to understand. Strange because it was … strange.
It was a fantastic, well-built, & sophisticated boarding school made for top-dollar kids, honestly. It was big & they always renovate it every year. We had a spacious two-floor campus, two football fields, another two-floor kitchen, & (maybe) more than eight dormitory buildings, etc.
That’s not the case. I wasn’t there because I was a rich kid from the block. I was far from it. They had a program for ‘orphan’ kids from first grade to sixth grade to continue their education for free, which what my mother signed me up for.
Many people from all different walks of life have come to that school. There, you would see kids from rich parents who’d paid a lot of money each month to get them schooled in such a place with top-class facilities. Every end of the week, their high-end cars would fill every corner of the complex.
You would also have kids like me, whose parents would not visit them except once a month for only 3 or 4 hours. They would always have the same pairs of shoes because that’s what they gave them for free. They would always sit on the very left side of the mosque because people would look at them oddly if they ever sit on the right side, which was the ‘block’ for the rich kids. If a grade consists of seven classes from A to G, these kids would always be put at the very last (G and F).
It ended up becoming some of the most tumultuous years I have ever experienced, and I’m not just talking about the absence of my mother since I was a little. I’m talking about the ‘segregation’ where ‘orphan’ kids like me were always put in the very, very last row of classes ahead of the top-dollar paying kids. I’m talking about all the social frictions & the feeling of being left out. I’m talking about the unbalanced social strata among every group of friends. I’m talking about feeling not good enough to reach what they could have.
Everybody wants to feel accepted, especially when you’re, like, 13 or 14 or 15, to the point where they would do literally everything to feel like they belong to the pack.
I’m not saying it’s the worst, but it wasn’t good. When you’ve experienced such a thing since that age, it messes up with your confidence as a whole. You have experienced ‘discrimination’ at the most subtle level. It sucks the hell out of your self-esteem. It’s like you’re not meant to blend with the others because you were not as fortunate as them. “What is wrong with me?,” you question yourself every time.
I ended up getting dropped out from that school in mid-9 grade. This isn’t meant to throw shade at anyone, or another ‘poor-me’ post. I would forever be grateful for the opportunity if you ask me. But, should I be given another chance in life, I just wish things could’ve been done differently.