The fall is Back to School season in Canada—a new year begins. But in Kenya, it is back to school for the third and final term of the year, which began in January.
The older children are accepted to a high school based on their exam marks in Grade 8. The better the grades, the better the school that selects them—and the school can be anywhere in the district. This usually means the children must board at the school that has accepted them. For this reason, being at secondary school is a time of mixed emotions and challenges for them.
Here is a letter from Carolyn (photo above)—in her own words—about living away from home to attend high school:
My life in boarding school is somehow enjoyable but only needs those who have patience. The reason here is that sometimes I usually experience some challenges which includes peer pressure but what I normally do to cope up with it is just to encourage myself constantly. My academic goals and my future dreams play an important role in giving me time to study and concentrate well in class. When this seems not to be working I seek encouragement from my family members, fellow students and the teacher of concern.
Another thing is that sometimes I get discouraged especially when I don’t have pocket money, shopping, being chased away from school for school fees or due to some mistakes like breaking the school rules. This usually creates a lot of stress.
Weather conditions is also unfavorable to my health. The place is so cold especially very early in the morning and at nights. Sometimes I feel like running away but coming to realize one thing is that education roots are very bitter but the fruits are so sweet. In order to taste the sweetness of the fruit I must engage in right activities that can divert my mind from evil thoughts to positive ones.
I always hate telling myself to be a problem to difficulties. I like being a solution always and I also adhere to all advices given to me and as a student I have just learnt to exercise patience till the end of the term.
This is what HOPE FOR THE FUTURE looks like.