Anyone who has ever spoken to me for longer than about three and a half minutes knows I am a boarding school girl, through and through. The fact that I graduated in 2015 is irrelevant. The quirks and oddities of living in the middle of nowhere on a picturesque campus for three years are irrevocably part of who am I today, for better or worse. And I know I’m not the only one. So for all you former boarding school kids out there, here are 20 signs you went to a Canadian boarding school!
1. You miss wearing a uniform.
Gotta start simple. After three years of wearing the same thing five days a week (six if you count the formal uniform on Saturdays and special occasions), dressing yourself is really, really hard.
2. Your friends literally live all over the world.
Throughout my three years, I had five roommates from the following countries: Hong Kong, the U.S, Nigeria, Germany, and the other coast of Canada. On the one hand, multiculturalism is what makes boarding school such an amazing, immersive experience. But getting on a plane to Hong Kong isn’t exactly a viable option when you want to eat ice cream with your best friend.
3. You went to school with at least one celebrity child.
Or, more likely, several. In my case, it was Pamela Anderson (yes, of Baywatch) and Tommy Lee’s (yes, of Motley Crue) two sons, one of whom graduated with me. For the most part, they were just like any of the other students, until a helicopter landed on the soccer field or the paparazzi tried to sneak into your prom.
4. Your first drink was a huge deal.
Unsurprisingly, boarding schools are pretty strict about underage drinking on campus (duh). But, that never stopped you. Your first shot of vodka probably happened in a bathtub, or behind a bike shed, or in the stairwell of your boarding house. Hiding the alcohol was the best part. You hid your empties in inconspicuous places, like empty cereal boxes, or behind the toilet. Classy, I know.
5. You’ve developed a strong aversion to certain food.
At my school, the standard meal was chicken and potatoes. On its own, this isn’t really that bad, except for a few things: the chicken being boiled (seriously, ew), the potatoes being smashed rather than mashed, and most importantly, the fact that they served it to us 14 times a week. Now it tastes like chicken and sadness.
6. You’re still weirdly superstitious about school traditions.
My headmaster used to tell us at least 3 times a week: “If you are cutting corners on the grass, you are cutting corners in life”. 2 years later, walking on the grass of my university quad gives me anxiety.
7. You’re still not used to having the opposite sex in your room.
If your school was co-ed, like mine, the rules about the opposite sex were very, very strict. I was once yelled at for sitting on the same couch as my then-boyfriend. You probably had your first kiss in the forest beside your boarding house, and let’s not even get into everything that came after that.
8. You still hate your rival school.
Nobody knows why school rivalries are so strong. They just are. Just pray you never mret them in the real world.
9. You’re still bitter about school politics.
As silly as it seems now, things like Head of House and Prefect were really, really important to you. And maybe you’re still just a little bit bitter because you were clearly the better choice. At least things are going well at university?
10. You’re hardwired to do homework at a certain time of day.
7pm-9pm. After three years, “prep-time” gets ingrained into your psyche. You still look over your shoulder when you use your phone while you should be studying.
11. You still remember every single hymn you ever had to sing.
Sometimes, when I lie awake at night, my brain starts singing “O ZION THAT BRINGEST GOOD TIDINGS” and there is absolutely nothing I can do about it.
12. You either love schedules, or absolutely hate them.
Having every second of your day planned out for you changes your life forever. If you’re like me, you get anxious when you don’t have plans. If you’re not like me, you refuse to ever plan anything, ever again.
13. People always ask you why your parents sent you away.
No, I did not get sent to boarding school for being a juvenile delinquent, and no, it is none of your business even if I did.
14. You make your bed every morning.
Even though no one is inspecting your room anymore, you still make your bed in the morning, out of habit. Bonus: you clean your room at least once a week, just for the sake of it. Cleanliness is next to godliness, right?
15. Your adviser was like a second mother/father to you.
You still call them to see how they’re doing, and miss the days when they brought you treats or took you on outings (I love you Mrs. Carballo).
16. Still being in awe of having internet all hours of the day.
You still remember the days of asking an upper year for their wifi password– and even then, it still shut off at midnight.
17. You’re fiercely protective of your snacks.
Once, someone gave me a 2.5kg chocolate bar as a secret santa present. And then someone ate the whole thing. I still don’t know who it was, and I am still angry about it.
18. People think you’re athletic, since you played at least 2 sports.
In reality, it was mandatory, and you’re not athletic at all, but you’re not going to correct anyone.
19. You still own way too many pieces of clothing in your school colours.
Spirit days were really important.
20. You still talk about “the glory days” as if they were yesterday.
Whether you loved it or hated it, the boarding school days will always have a special place in your heart, along with all the best friends and memories you made there.
Do you have any other signs you went to a Canadian Boarding School!? Share in the comments below!
Featured Image: weheartit
Julianne is a third year student at U of T, majoring in English and minoring in anthropology and sociology. In her spare time she loves to write, complain about LinkedIn culture, and Naruto run between Trinity College and Alpha Gamma Delta.