As a 16 year old girl returning from her second year of boarding school with severely dashed expectations, I believe there's no one more qualified to expand on what utter falsiities lie in the portrayal of boarding schools in the media. I'm actually considering making a neon sign that flashes the following message at incoming students: Boarding school is nothing like Harry Potter! You can't actually substitute Arithmancy for Algebra! Nevertheless, I found it more helpful to type up a list of lies I was told about boarding schools.
1."You'll get a boyfriend!"
I'm pretty sure marathon sessions of Zoey 101 when I was younger contributed to my desire to fly off to a California boarding school and cultivate a love like Chase and Zoey's, but that's a little problematic when I go to an all girl's boarding school on the East Coast. No boys allowed here! Pros include that it's much easier to concentrate in class when you're not worried if Tommy only likes you or if he like-likes you, but the downside is that I miss out on some normal high school experiences like prom. Everyone has to make sacrifices.
2."School-girl chic, all day, every day."
Here's something I'm actually glad I got wrong—no uniforms! I was expecting the whole plaid skirt and knee high socks deal, but luckily that wasn't the case. In fact, 99% of the time I would roll out of bed 15 minutes before homeroom and frantically pull on sweats before grabbing a poptart and running to class. My pants are on backward AND inside out, you say?
3."Pizza and ice cream for every meal!"
I was expecting a buffet akin to one of kings, but alas, I was wrong about that too. My school rotates on a monthly schedule, so it's easy to predict what's on the menu. Fish and wilted spinach for dinner again? Head back to your room and secretely microwave some EasyMac to warm up the cold recesses of your heart where home-cooked food used to lie.
4."It'll be just like the Gryffindor tower!"
I was definitely expecting some sort of Hogwarts-esque dormitories upon arrival to boarding school, but that was (sadly) not the case. Instead of four poster beds and a plush common room, I was met with linoleum floors and plastic-wrapped bunk beds. However, it's amazing what twenty Doctor Who posters and various photos of Benedict Cumberbatch can do to really brighten the stark white walls of a dorm room right up.
5."Every friend will become a sister!"
You may think you have best friends now, but the only way to truly judge your friends on their character is to see which ones laugh when you are in the gym wrapped in only a towel after a surprise fire drill caught you in the shower, and which ones silently lend you a sweatshirt.
In all, boarding school is not what I expected it to be. The academics are difficult, the homesickness stinks, and you will get so desperate to get off campus that a trip to WalMart will seem like a five star vacation, but I wouldn't have it any other way. There's always one element of truth that manages to burrow itself deep in the center of any portrayal of boarding school—that it's a great experience, and will change your outlook on life forever.
Post by ibstock!
Does this totally destroy your boarding school dreams? WHY ISN'T IT LIKE HOGWARTS?!