A guest blog from the real Blakely-
To the majority of people, boarding school is a foreign concept that can only be understood by watching the ever so insightful Nickelodeon show, Zoe 101. Whenever I tell anyone I go to a boarding school they can’t help but ask, “what on earth did you do that was bad enough to get sent away from home?”. However, much to their disappointment of being deprived of a riveting story of whatever shenanigan I got caught doing, this is not my case.
Anyone who has ever grown up in a small town knows what it’s like to be a fish in a glass bowl. You’re neighbors, friends, soccer coaches, and even the cash registers at the grocery store know everything about you. I’d been in the same class with the same people since I was two years old and, with the exception of the amazing trips and vacations that I have been so fortunate to go on with my grandparents and family, Anacortes was all I had ever known. Everyone there had seen me through the pig tails, the matching outfits my mom was oh so kind enough to make my sisters and me wear (sarcasm), the Hilary Duff stage, the “I’m gonna be a famous singer and dancer” phase, the braces, etc., it’s pretty safe to say that by the time I was in 8th grade I was more then ready to get out. Before I knew it, the fall of my freshman year rolled around and there I was driving through the front gates of Shawnigan Lake School (cough cough Lakeview Academy) where I would spend the next four years of my life.
The hardest part was adjusting to the demands that Shawnigan asks of you: uniform, sport, fine art, sign in times, participation in EVERYTHING, singing, dorm life, etc. If you think it’s tough living with your siblings, try living in a dorm with 48 teenage girls all going through the same “who am I” “do I fit in” “the whole world revolves around me” stuff that every single high schooler goes through.
However, now a few weeks into my 4th and senior year of Shawnigan there has become a normality and comfortableness to being here. Those 48 girls have now become my best friends and I love each and every one of them like my own sisters. The friends and people who I have met and the mistakes I have made here have changed me for the better and although there are times when I want more then anything to get out of here I am thankful for Shawnigan.
Although extremely cheesy and cliche, going off to a boarding school is like learning how to ride a bike with out training wheels. You no longer have the constant support of someone else holding you upright, you’re independent. You’re the one in charge of your own life, you have to hold yourself up straight. There’s no doubt you’ll fall a few times but you learn from the fall and just keep riding.
Don’t get me wrong even with the bustling Shawnigan lifestyle and never ending socializing I still miss home more then anything . I miss my mom making immature comments that would only be relatively acceptable if they came out of a 12 year old boys mouth. I miss my dad’s humor and watching football with him. I miss my puppies and turtle. I miss my bed. I miss the ocean and the islands. Nevertheless, I know that in short time I will be back because no matter how far away you are or how long you are gone a home is one’s safe place and will always be there awaiting your return.