The End

Well guys, believe it or not I finish High School for good tomorrow. I am sorry I have left you all in the dark these past few months. I can’t use examinations as an excuse really as to why I haven’t written because they were months ago now, but lets just say I lost motivation to write anything, and I didn’t really have anything to write about anyway. Writing about education is a terribly dull affair at best. I suppose I can attempt to summarize briefly what has transpired in the past few months:

Examinations —–> Sleep ——> Occasional Outing with Mother ——> Sailing ——> Love :o

More on that later.  I think now is a suitable time for me to reflect on the year as a whole, and how I have changed as a person. What I have learned, and the mistakes I have made. I think, I will start with a nice visual comparison to kick things off.

Well, at least I look happier now.

So yes, there is before and after more or less. Something happened to my hair this year, and I’m not sure what but I like it. I like it a lot. I am also under strict orders to smile more often, because apparently I sport a fine set of teeth, which I am still skeptical of but I will do it anyway. Not that you can see it in the photo, but I feel physically fitter than when I first came to SMC, and I have also sprouted a few inches taller too believe it or not. Unfortunately, I can’t show you any pictures of my physique, this is a family friendly blog you know. That is pretty much the aesthetic side done and dusted then, I conclude that SMC has had a good effect on my general fashion sense and style. Good job!

I cannot reflect on my year without first reflecting on my time in the Boarding House. I am going to pull a post that I made at the beginning of the year about the Boarding house which is still very relevant.

The nights are long now, as I leave school we are already into Darkness, so dark and gloomy is it that one would not be wrong to think it is 8pm at night. The walk from school to “Home” is brief in my case, not 100 meters away, where more work awaits. Still, I comfort myself in the knowledge that it is but a few weeks until I will be bathing on sunny shores,  in the radiant sun. A short-term boarder has joined us, a day pupil who arrived yesterday, here only until Wednesday. I have no doubt that he will look upon the lives of Boarders with great interest, and I am certain he will be thankful to be home at the end of it. I suppose going away from Home for extensive periods of time puts the world into perspective for you, it throws you from where you are used to being, and forcing you to develop and challenge yourself. It is this type of challenge that I have needed, this type of commitment that was not there before, hence my shortcomings in previous years. I suppose you could say, you do not realise how much of the world you can miss from within your fortress, it is easier to live in ignorance and in comfort than it is to come out and venture beyond what you are accustomed to. It is enlightening what you can learn about yourself and your capabilities from simply doing these small things, though difficult at times.

What is most difficult about boarding? The routine I suppose, the knowledge that you know exactly how your evenings will pan out, and in some respects that is a blessing and terribly dull. Ultimately, boarding schools are designed to help you achieve what you are capable of, the life of a boarder revolves around productivity and pro-activness, it is encouraged, especially on an academic level. How tough a job must the matrons and housemasters have, to care and look after a variety of children, not 1 or 2, but 30 or so. Not only must they be cared for, but they must be nurtured, disciplined, brought up. Some Boarders are young, some Boarders are going through early stages of life without the vigil of their parents, they are defined by what they do whilst at School. It is a monumental task, and a great responsibility. It is these things that you do not think about, you merely accept it as normal, never do you take it for granted.

But, I think the greatest lesson you will learn at Boarding School is this – Home, is not an object, a place or location. It is not contained within walls, or under roofs. Home is where the family is, and it becomes ever so apparent when you do these types of things. You forget any attachments to things you now consider trivial, beds, games, certain objects. In essence, you learn what it is to be independent, to live outwith your comfort zones, to re-create yourself.

Knowing one’s self, and understanding what you can achieve is a great gift, that is what Boarding gives you.

There are many things people say about the Boarding House, and even some who don’t even know it exists. Some call it a prison, others fear it for no reason. Yet, Dean Park Boarding House is my first and only boarding house that I have lived in, and I can honestly say it has been one of the best experiences of my life. Each day has had different challenges, new things to try and ways to better yourself. I have learnt a great deal from the Boarding House, lessons I will take with me and apply throughout my life in the future. I have also built up a huge admiration for the work that goes on behind the scenes to make sure such an operation runs smoothly, 24/7. From the cleaners and cooks to the staff and tutors, all who are firmly devoted to ensuring the best for all boarders. It sounds corny, and if you asked any boarder they wouldn’t admit that, but it is true. You know they act in your best interest, and are there to offer support and guidance whenever you need it, something I think that many of us who are leaving will surely miss.

I’m not sure what I would be like now if I had not come here. I can hazard a guess and say that I would be very worried about my exam results come August and I would have little concept of what independence and responsibility is. I feel ready to go out now, I feel prepared to face the many challenges ahead. I know I wouldn’t have been if I had stayed at home. I know I will miss DPH. The others say that they won’t, that they are glad to go, but if we are all honest, it will hit us hard once we’ve gone. I will miss the people here too, believe it or not. You essentially become part of a big family when you come here, and yes, you may disagree with one another, perhaps even despise each other at times, but you’re all in it together and you look out for each other. Respecting one another, tolerating each other and communicating with each other builds up a bond between all boarders. Most would deny the existence of such a bond, but it is there.

All in all, the Boarding House has been a character building, rewarding experience for me. They gave me the space to develop and be my own person, yet with that gentle safety barrier to push me back when I began to stray. That safety barrier won’t be there next year. I have a lot to thank Dean Park House for, and it is a kind of gratitude that I can’t really express in gift form or words. They have helped shape me into the person I am now, stronger, better and I can move forwards now with confidence. I feel pride to have been a boarder, to have received the care that I have, to have met the people who I have and to experience what I have. I would recommend it heartily to any who have considered, or are considering this type of venture. It is rewarding beyond measure, in ways that you can’t understand until you have actually been and done it.

Thus it is the end of my time in Dean Park House, and now it is onto a new beginning, though I shall not forget this House.

Stay tuned for more reflection posts over the next few days!



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