I had slowly opened the door into the room that would be mine for the next eleven month. Bang! It said as a large suitcase knocked me down. I could hear laughter and someone yelling I’m sorry as I tried to get up on my feet again. That was my first introduction to one of my roommates; the others gave a less painful first impression.
Whether you are greeted with a falling suitcase or a simple handshake, you will always be met with an open mind. I remember all the questions filling my head the first day. Would I meet anyone I liked? Would they like me? How come no one seems as nervous as I am? The thought that did not cross my mind that day, was that everyone was thinking the exact same thing. Surprisingly, this nervous feeling disappeared within the week; I would almost dare to say that it disappeared with in the first two days. That’s what SKALs does to you; it makes the days feel longer, but shorter at the same time. It allows you to get close to so many amazing people. Some you may just have met, but it feels like you have known them for a lifetime. The school helps you to do so. The first week they had organized a series of activities to get us all close, locking us inside a big circle and forcing us to be social. The school is the foundation of all our friendships. It has a way to make you talk to new people every day, a way of breaking down your walls.
The school also has a way of challenging you, whether the challenge is socially, academically, or personally, you will feel that every week you have learned something new. The school pulls you out of bed every day for you to experience something new. It also broadens your perspective; bringing you to other parts of the world, allowing you to reflect upon yourself and the world around you, and allowing you to change. Whether the change is for the better or for worse, whether it makes you mature or not, I can’t say, but one thing is certain; time at SKALs changes you.
Having your friends around you 24/7 creates a cozy feeling. It lets you know that there is always someone if you need a hug, but most importantly there is never a time spent where you aren’t having fun. There is always something going on, and the sound of laughter coming from another floor, the room beside you, or the room you’re in becomes a familiar sound. Everything that seemed so strange, hard and unusual the first week, has now become normal and part of the daily routine.
Furthermore having people surrounding you constantly may seem exhausting to some, the constant talk, drama, homework, and tightly packed schedule may drive you to a point where you just need to get away. However, as you go home on the weekends you will miss the feeling of never being alone. Even though you are exhausted and appreciate the fact that at home you finally get the chance to sleep, as you lie in your bed you miss people marching through your door and jumping into your bed. Or maybe you simply miss the sound of chatter outside your door. You may not miss the fact that you have to clean every day, but even that has become a part of your daily routine and doesn’t seem as hard anymore. You learn to live with and accept the rules that the school has, even though they may have seemed irrelevant and unnecessary in the beginning. You get so used to the peculiar life at SKALs, that when you leave you suddenly feel like something is missing. After the first week at SKALs, my floor (3N) had already a night-hugging-routine, which is only one example of the many small things you miss as you go home during the weekend, or spend a week away during vacations. The people you attend SKALs with will become more than just peers; they will be your second family. Then there was another freighting thought that may have filled many’s minds before attending, especially girls’. Am I going to gain weight during my stay at SKALs? My answer to you would be no. I do not object that we do eat more here. The loved-by-all SPAR store in the center of town is usually visited once or twice a week by everyone, and the pizzeria and baker are not forgotten neither. Furthermore, the school has presented us with their well-known stomach-program, which is now loved and hated by all students. Additionally, every girl and boy has to attend tumbling (guys) and rhythmic (girls), and most of the students have an elective where their muscles are being used. Plus, if that isn’t enough, the training center and sun-route is always open for an extra work-out or run. Therefore, since the school offers many possibilities to stay in shape the concern of gaining weight should be less worrisome. The motivation towards having an active lifestyle is so much greater as you step onto SKALs’ grounds, whereas at home the will to get out of the safety of my blankets and pillows and go for a run was almost nonexistent.
As I sit here waiting for the rest of the school to come back and for another week to begin, I can’t help but to miss everyone. Miss my roommates and our late night talks. Miss my classmates and their fun outbreaks and taunts during lessons. Miss my floor and our goodnight hugs. Miss the noise and familiar chatter that has now become such an important part of my daily life.