I always say that you didn't have the true boarding school experience till you went to a Federal Government college. Sorry, Queens College babes need not identify, una ajebo-ism no get part 2. Oh, and awon Vivian Fowler, The Bells aka Horse riding school, Olasore, Adesoye, Atlantic Hall and what not, y'all should not even cough in this FGGC product's presence. Ha Ha!
I went to boarding school in the east. For someone who was born and raised in Port Harcourt, you'd think that I would have opted to go to Abuloma but I wanted to try a new city. (In retrospect, I'm glad I aint go to that Abuloma aka I blow garri with those their extra special chicks.)
LOL. I am really trash talking all the schools aint I? S'all in good fun o jare.
Infact ehn, before I went off to my FGGC, while I was waiting for my Common Entrance results...I did a brief stint at an Airforce secondary school. All I have to say after that experience is God forbid! Those teachers/whatever they were called were MEAN, but that's another tori for another day.
Back to my FGGC gist...
Heading off to my feddy gals college, I was nervous, scared to be away from home, expectant, excited. I still very vividly remember my first day in school...the senior girls assembled all the newbies and started asking us about our backgrounds and if we had brothers (See them, desperate chicks...) If they determined that you were an ajebota or if you claimed to have a fine brother, they would make you their school-daughter.
There were benefits to being one's school daughter; if you were serving punishment aka kneeling down, lying down, or doing any form of gymnastics that some evil senior made you do and your school mother happened to be in the vicinity, odds were that she would intercede on your behalf and you would go scott free.
If it was SAP season (Structural adjustment program) and your ass was starving, you could go to your school mother and she would hook you up with some good ol' Cabin biscuits, Nasco cornflakes or the main the main staple; Garri!
Adjusting to the feddy lifestyle was initially very hard. Prior to secondary school, I had never had to share living spaces with about 24 girls. I had never lived life by such a strict schedule; From breakfast to class to lunch to prep to lights out. I had never had to take baths from a bucket, talkess of in a 'bathroom' with about 11 other girls splashing their own dirt on you.
I had never eaten food with the sorry excuse for meat, that my school had. Not to talk of those extra tiny portions. Infact we used to do food swaps which was pretty much, you telling someone 'May I please eat your morning food, and then you may eat my afternoon food'? Abeg allow us o, babes were hungry!
I had never experienced water scarcity, where we would take our buckets from dormitory to dormitory and beg people for scoops of water. In the end, we would take our buckets back and hide it very carefully under our beds only to wake up the next morning and discover that some cunning thief had helped themself to almost, if not all of your hard earned water.
I had never had to literally fly from my top bunk when one random senior babe called 'A junior girl' in an effort not to be the last junior girl to land because if you were the last junior girl to get there, best believe that your ass was getting SENT.
I had never had to scrub an entire block of toilets (Read: 6 toilets) as my dormitory work for 6 months. And nna ehn, this wasn't not regular scrubbing o! Those toilets were always dirty as heck. So every Friday before Satuday's inspection, I would grab a big stick and start pounding 1 million blue house girl's maggot covered crusty shit, then I would use a bucket to wash it out, pour some dettol around the zone and start scrubbing. Ah, I always tell people...don't be fooled by the soft, ajebo looking skin o. I don did some dirty work in my life time.
I had never had to ask permission to enter a senior girl's class. I mean, in retrospect I was probably the same age as most of these chicks but before you entered their classes, you had to call out 'Excuse me senior 5A girls, may I please enter'? and if 5A girls were in the mood for some comic relief, someone would call out 'Yes. Fly in' or 'Yes. Dance in' and woe betide you if you don't do any of the above. Ohhh and you didn't even want them to catch you walking on their corridor. You would find yourself kneeling under the hot sun for a couple of hours.
But I adjusted...and I had a lot of fun! As the years passed and we kwa became seniors, life got easier. Now as opposed to fetching senior Nkechi's bucket of water, I could now send Ifeoma to fetch my own bucket of water.
We had 'neighbors', who slept on our top bunk and pretty much did everything for us, as we did for the seniors when we were juniors babes. My neighbor was responsible for fetching my daily bucket of water, washing and ironing my clothes, making my bed and in general...making my life easier. :-D
I joined a couple of social clubs and got a chance to participate in events such as 'Press Club day', which was pretty much was excuse for us male deprived females to hang around a whole bunch of boys from the nearby federal colleges.
For events such as Press club day, we practiced mimes that we would perform on stage, and on the actual day we made sure we wore our shortest skirts...after all, the boys were coming!
I made friends for life!
Visiting days were the first sunday of every month. We lived for visiting days, and we would all camp out with friends at their parents cars, and invite them to our own parents cars to come and eat with us. Post visiting day, every one was happy because their lockers were re-filled with provisions like Nasco (Or Kellogs for the rich folk), Cabin biscuits, peak milk, milo/bournvita, GARRI, cookies...and our wallets were fatter with the pocket money that our parents gave us.
I considered myself to be something of an all-rounder in secondary school. I wasn't part of the popular jingos club, I wasn't a spiro aka SU, I wasn't an effico aka bookatee, I wasn't one of the 'outcasts' either. I just flowed freely with everyone and that made my boarding school experience even more memorable.
Boarding school was fun for real! In my last year, I made friends with a set of very mischievious chicks who were always looking for the latest gist/scandal. I remember one jobless saturday night, we heard word of some lesbians making out and decided to sneak up to their window to watch the action for ourselves. LOL
Ah, we had plenty lele's o. It was the lack of males that caused it sha...
Ahhhh, nostalgia! I'm sitting here, and actually missing those good ol' days.
Or is it those girls who were campaigning for prefect positions? As a defaulter, I know say e no go reach me so I didn't even bother. But it was extraaaa funny when they would announce prefects, and some of the campaigners ehn? e just fly them like say dem dey stand for JFK airport and British Airways flew past them. Flyoooooooooooo. Some wicked chicks would make paper planes, and when they post they were campaigning for no reach them, they would throw the paper planes in their direction. LOLLLLL.
I remember those boxed up chicks who used to go to Jand/Yankee every summer, and when they came back we would be admiring their cute accessories, and acquisitions and thinking how lucky they were. I mean, when I came to yankee and I hit up CVS, I saw the 99c tweety folders and chit that we used to trip for back in the day. Too funny...
I remember holidays and how there was this current of excitement running through the whole school. People with excess provisions would share with the hungry folk like me who always finished their provs real quick. Everyone was happy to be heading home for the long long summer holiday. I remember the Ekenedilichukwu and ABC buses that came to pick the Lagos girls. In those instances, I really used to wish that I was a Lagos babe 'cos those their trips home were reportedly very fun.
I remember the final days, when we jacked hard for our WAEC and JAMB examinations. We pulled all nighters, and it was hella bitter sweet because as we dey jack, we knew that this was it! After the exams, and class party we were O-U-T and we potentially would not see some of those girls again.
Since we pretty much had one foot out the door, we were hella defaulting, wearing 'mufti' to afternoon prep, some girls sef no gree plait their hair again or they would do the extra deep 'brush' that was on some straight up defaulting status.
Man o man, I miss those good ol' days. I really do...
I spent a good 6 years of my life in that secondary school. Well, most of it minus the summer vacations and what not, and I can confidently say that it helped in shaping my character.
I learned not to take anything for granted; I mean I see some people complaining about cafeteria food and I'm like whaaaat? You should have seen what I had to eat in secondary school, this chit is a 3 course dinner fit for a king compared to that.
I learned to work with what I had.
I met so many girls from different backgrounds; from the extra rich ones aka the boxed up ones to the ones whose parents were struggling. It was truly a melting pot for all sorts of characters and people from different back grounds and I learned to accept everyone for who they were.
School daze were worth every punishment I served, I won't trade it for anything in the world!
Left to me, I'd ship my kids off to boarding school too! Let them learn a thing or two.
PS:- This was a long post, which didn't even cover half of my boarding school experience. Ha ha.