What do you miss most about school?

It’s back to school season and as I watch students rush to catch the bus, struggling to balance their backpacks and lunch boxes, I can’t help but breathe a sigh of relief because that chapter is closed for me.

Well, that’s not entirely true. If I’m to land my dream job which I won’t mention so I don’t jinx it, I may have to go back to school but that won’t be for a while, thank God. I wouldn’t say I hated school.

I loved the school environment and I’m glad I went through the system. Learning is just one of those things we all have to experience. It’s just that there were certain aspects I wasn’t enthusiastic about. One of my biggest issues was the food.

I attended fairly good schools and yet the food was terrible but because we didn’t have a choice, we had to eat to survive. For breakfast, we usually had a cup of porridge. That was it. No bread, eggs or fruit and it wasn’t even sweetened. Lunch and Supper weren’t sumptuous either.

It was often the bland posho and beans and we had to come up with our own condiments to give it some flavour. That’s why it was so important to stock up on Blue band, ghee and peanut butter. If you attended boarding school at any point, you remember the struggle.

Every now and then, we would be treated to rice but many times, it was either burnt or half-cooked. Things must be different today, especially for day scholars who have the luxury of packing their own lunch. 

I’m glad I no longer get punished for some trivial mishaps. It’s important to instill discipline but there were many times I felt some rules and regulations were just ridiculous. In one school I attended, you would be punished if a Supervisor caught you reading a novel during Prep Time.

You also had to shave your head if you wore open shoes or any sweater not issued by the school to class! Speaking of class, I don’t miss the 15 plus subjects I had to sit through. I had favourites, like Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History and Literature but didn’t care much for some other Subjects and I wish students were allowed the freedom to choose what to focus on, with guidance from their parents and teachers of course as they are in better position to know one’s strengths and weaknesses. We also need to keep the evolving job market in mind. Why did I cram all those study topics that didn’t and won’t help me get a good job?

One other thing I don’t miss are the tests and exams. It’s funny because I usually ended up with good grades but I always panicked and suffered “examination fever”. I wish there was another way to test students on what they have learned throughout the term or school year instead of staking everything on exams. I prefer orals and practicals to written exams.

The one thing I’d say I miss most about school are the friends I made, right from Primary School to University. Some have become lifelong friends but I haven’t seen others in years and yet we were such close friends back then. So, what do you miss most about school?