At first, the idea of going to a boarding school filled me with as much dread as it did excitement... now, eight weeks in, I'm preparing to go home for the half term break. Unlike those who attend daily, us borders have to wear our school uniform in the evenings and on the weekends too. Whilst this may seem unfair at first... it's a common rule in many boarding schools. However there are some rules at St Ursula's which aren't very common...
It's Saturday morning and I can't wait to return home, see my mum, meet up with my friends and wear my own clothes for a change! On my bed is a small suitcase, inside which is the jeans, t-shirt and jumper, along with the shoes and socks I'd arrived wearing some eight weeks ago. It felt strange wearing 'civilian' clothes after two months in uniform.
I packed the books I’d need, closed the case and clicked the latches shut, before going to the school's office to collect my train ticket. The 55 mile journey home should take around 90 minutes. I made sure my room was all in order; bedding straight, floor swept, en-suite bathroom spotless and my uniform items all neatly folded on my shelf, or hung from my clothes rail... ready and waiting for my return in a week's time. I looked forward to a whole week away from the rules, the routine and the academia of boarding school. Saying that, I do have a number of homework assignments to do during the week long break, hence my small case being half full of both text and exercise books.
I made my way from the dorm, down the long corridor towards the stairs and ultimately to the school's reception desk. “Where do you think you're going?” a stern voice called as I descended the wide wooden staircase.
“Home Miss.” I replied.
“Not dressed like that your not... you know the rules.” Miss Holbeck said in the same stern tone.
“But I'm going home Miss... to Beckford.” I said, lifting my small suitcase a little as if its mere presence validated my claim. “...on the train.” I added.
“Nevertheless, the rules state that you should be in uniform at all times. And that includes travelling to and from the school.” she replied.
“But nothing child.” she interrupted, “Your own clothes were in your case so that you could take them home, not for you to wear on the way home.” she stated, before telling me in no uncertain terms to return to my room and “...make yourself presentable!” as she put it.