How I survived boarding school
I am going to send off my eldest daughter to boarding school tomorrow. She has just got the offer to register as Form 4 at Sekolah Menengah Sains Hulu Selangor (SEMASHUR). After coaxing  her to accept the offer, she finally agree to go. I am excited for her since I too studied in boarding school once. Unlike her, I entered the boarding school, Sekolah Tun Fatimah, since Form 1. And the school is many many many miles from home. My daughter is considered lucky since SEMASHUR is just 30-40 minutes away from home.
Anyhow, I survived 5 years of schooling in STF. And I dedicated some of  these survival skills to my daughter...:)
1. I labelled my personal things with my name to prevent them from missing. Over the years, the label Norazlina Mohamed changed to Leena punye.

 2. I made friend with the bell. Bell for breakfast. Bell for every learning session. Bell all the time. We even have this tagline Hidup tak bermakna tanpa loceng.

3. I often woke up early to be among the first to use the shower.
4. I quickly learned about the booking system for the shower. We used to have towel booking system or pail booking system. More towels/pails at the shower mean more people queuing for that particular shower. So when I woke up late, I looked for shower with the least number of towels or pails. When I was extremely late, I learned how to brush my teeth and shower simultaneously...:P

5. When ironing school uniform, I saved time by only ironing the visible part. Ie only iron the bottom part of my kain baju kurung.

6. When hand-washing the clothes, I avoided wringing the clothes thus less wrinkles, thus save time to iron. (Something I learned when I was in matriculation... Not too late to learn...)

7. Laundry room was often full. I had to find time when there was minimal usage. I used to skip lunch to do my laundry or do it in the middle of the night. Skipping lunch especially when the menu was not that appetising.

8. I made prep hours bearable by having friends to chat with. I also listened to music during prep hours. I used to have walkman (those were the old days when we didn't have ipod or whatnot). Couldn't remember whether bringing walkman during prep was illegal or not.

9. Supper was the highlight before bedtime. Me and my friends often lingered around the dining hall after everyone has taken their supper. Then we went around and salvage what was left. Biscuits were nice snacks to be eaten in the dormitory (err again... Illegal ke ni?) Of course, entering dining hall in the middle of the night was considered extracurricular activities and illegal (but keep you survived...)

10. After lights off, study rooms were available for staying up to study. But can be limited too. There were always corridors with ample light to study. I had few corridor study-buddies who owned spots in the corridor.

11. I enjoyed the flora and fauna around the school, flowers and fruit trees. Sometimes I studied under a tree. Sometimes I walked around the school compound with friends. And sometimes we spiced up things a little by having middle of the night missions of harvesting mangoes and jackfruit from the trees. :D

12. We had TV room to watch favorite TV shows. But sometimes the favorite TV show was aired at inappropriate time such as during prep hours and we just had to sacrifice the prep hours. And avoided being  caught by wardens or prefects...

13. Outings were something that we looked forward to. As if prisoners being released from the prison. The shopping spots that were famous back then in JB were KOMTAR and Kimisawa.

14. I had a hobby as my stress management kit. Collecting rock songs cassettes of various groups. Search and Wings were top in the list then. Of course, I have friends with the same passion.
15. We had water coolers to quench our thirst. At times of extreme measures, the water cooler was used to prepare instant noodle, served cold. And hey... we survived...
16. During weekends, I had to be alert for spot-checks by wardens and ready to made the bed  in a jiffy and stuff anything unwanted into the locker...

17. Made friends and not enemies. The friends from the schooldays made the activities that I joined fun and enjoyable. Be it academic, sports, weekly Yasin recitation, fasting month with Terawih prayers, weekly movie etc. Those are the friends who still get in touch with each other and we shared more than just memories. Friends until jannah, inshaAllah.
I am really happy that my daughter will experience this and hope she will treasure every moment of it. Even though she will forever be labelled as Budak Form  4 baru, I hope she will embrace the label and regard that as the unique thing about her. I also hope she will make full use of this opportunity and focus on study. And on top of that, don't forget to have fun. After all, school is supposed to be fun... And sometimes, rules are made to be broken...;) But try not to be so obvious eh... Ha ha...
Finally, remember that the boarding school is a small community. Even though small, the same principle of hidup bermasyarakat applies. Be good to others, mind your manners and display good attitude.
Bak lirik lagu Joget Pahang "Kalau baik hati, nanti orang pun sayang..."
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2 Responses
  1. Myzatul Nyza Says: totally agree withname label..yg mula2 skema nama penuh..pastu dh jd nama glamer..
    then chop bilik air dgn baldi, tuala, iron baju separuh..basuh baju x perah sgt sbb x yah iron susah2..hihihi..
    yerp..we need to be good with others..make friends with others..
    those were the days yg i missed so much..boarding school life is awesome!!!

  2. Mai, one of the best times. Taught us a lot of things kan... Going to write another post about boarding school. Tunggu mood rajin dating dulu... he he....