Today’s post is all about mixed feelings. My two-year journey at EF Academy is over and I am finally back home with my family, friends, delicious food and amazing Brazilian weather. And though I am super relieved to be done with my IB exams, I am at the same time sad to leave my friends, teachers and everything that used to be part of my daily life in Oxford.
So in my final post for this blog, I will be sharing with the nine things I’ll miss the most about boarding school life, and I’m sure you guys will understand why I feel so nostalgic.
1. The city center
Every weekend for the past two years, the city centre was the place I would hang out with my friends. It’s become the place where I can find my favourite shops and restaurants in Oxford. The beautiful historic buildings and University of Oxford colleges will also be missed.
2. Tea cakes in the student lounge
Okay, so these were my absolute favourite. Every day at 9 pm there were snacks in the student lounge and there would always be some traditional British tea cakes made with marshmallow and chocolate. I didn’t have them every day (which was probably a good thing!) because I was usually busy studying, but now I kind of regret not bringing some home.
3. The teachers
I won’t name any, but I had some outstanding teachers at EF Academy. Some of them would plan their lessons super carefully. They’d make handouts to give us, search for readings, and create documents full of tables and mind-maps to help us.
It was very motivating to see that my teachers truly cared and wanted us to do well in our final exams. It inspired me to keep working hard so that one day I can do something that I am just as passionate about.
4. Extra revision lessons
This relates to my previous point – some of my teachers would stay after school (sometimes until very late) to give us extra help. Whether it was something we were struggling with or a revision before exams. While it wasn’t exactly the most fun part of my two years at EF Academy, it certainly helped me succeed. I will miss having this kind of support when I go to university.
5. Not having to wake up too early
A really big advantage of studying at a boarding school is the fact that you don’t have to wake up too early to go to class because you’re already in school. Even though most of our classes were in a building five minutes away from the dorms, waking up 30 minutes before lessons was usually enough time to be ready for class.
And since school only started at 9 am, I could sleep until 8:3o am — which is a very reasonable time to wake up, in my opinion.
6. The house parents
I also had amazing house parents who were quite literally my parents away from home. They were always available to help me with whatever I needed. I will miss having someone to take care of my doctor’s appointments, tell the neighbours to shut up when they’re being too loud, and to give me life advice when I go to university next September.
7. Long weekends
I really loved long weekends. Even though they were not long enough for me to go back home to visit my family as most people did (Brazil is a bit too far from the UK), I could travel somewhere in Europe with my friends or even go to their homes with them. This is something I will surely miss next year, but I am hoping my new friends at university will also be open to travelling sometimes.
8. Never feeling bored
I felt a lot of things at boarding school. Sometimes I felt quite stressed, but I rarely ever felt bored. Because we all lived in the same building, I could always go visit my friends to gossip, eat chocolate, or study together.
Living with my friends also meant that I always had someone to go with me whenever I wanted to go out. And it constantly reminded me that I should be studying instead of doing nothing, as there was always at least one person studying near me.
9. My friends
I feel extremely lucky to have met such an amazing group of people at EF Academy. They have become a family away from home to me, even though we are all so different and come from very different countries.
My friends were always there when I missed home, when I had mental breakdowns from school stress, or when I just wanted to order some pizza and do face masks.
I’ll miss them the most of everything I’ll miss about boarding school life. But we have plans to visit each other soon.
At EF Academy boarding schools, our students are given the opportunity to make life long friendships and to grow a network that spans the globe.