Boarding school or captivity?

When people found out I went to boarding school, I’m usually met with an array of different questions/statements. “So, your parents don’t love you?”, “do you wear uniform on the weekends?” and “boarding school is just like Hogwarts, right?” just to name a few. What people do not know about my particular boarding school is that even though its agricultural, it is also situated on a 1000 acre property surrounded by the Murrumbidgee river. This means that it is both very secluded and reception wise it is very poor. I would often have to walk 2km in the afternoons to the front gate in order to gain 3 bars of service to ring my parents. This is a school that gave the piggery air-conditioning before the student dormitories, just to give everything a little bit of perspective.

So, it wasn’t rules per se that regulated my media use, but simply geographical location. Not only was mobile reception scarce, but the only television channels we were able to get were that of ABC and SBS. When I tell people this, they usually try and think of it in a positive sense in that I was “cleansed” from mass media for a few years and think I should see this as a blessing. This was wrong on so many levels. It may sound shallow that I was so anxious without access to social media, prime time television and texts, but I was mid to late teens and its just not normal to go without these things. This may raise a moral concern about teenagers and their need for technology, but I believe that it is somewhat harmless in moderation. In terms of space, the only issue I remember is everyone placing their phones on the window (as apparently that can get you service?) and everyone having an issue with taking the best spot that was marked in pen for reception. Also, it would be pretty easy to guess that when students went home, they would spend all their time in their rooms on their phones and laptops merely attempting to make up for lost and deprived internet time. This would thus create an issue at home, I know this because I experienced it first hand.



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