In your opinion, what are the lessons learned from school life?
Whether one’s school-days are happy or the reverse, depends a good deal on the character of the school in which one’s lot in cast; for schools are of all kinds good, bad and indifferent. But most schools nowadays are respectable, and some are very good; and most of us look back upon our school life as, on the whole, a happy time. Of course, a small boy who first goes to school (especially if it is a boarding-school) does not at the beginning feel very happy. He is surrounded by unfamiliar faces and the life is very different from what he was used to at home, and he feels lost and homesick, and badly wants his mother. But he soon settles down; and when he gets used to the new conditions, he will feel comfortable and happy enough.
Of course, there are draw backs, and even dangers in school life. There are always back sheep in every flock. A boy sometimes gets led away into bad habits by vicious companions. And when the discipline is over-strict and the masters unsympathetic, a sensitive boy may suffer much. But on the whole the influences of school life are healthy and good.
For one thing, the strict discipline of a school has a healthy effect upon growing boys. At home a boy is too often coddled and allowed too much of his own way; but at school he has to obey. And there he learns the good old useful virtues of punctuality, regular method, the best use of time, diligence, and prompt obedience. Boys may not like these; but they are thankful for the lessons afterwards, when they become men.
Then a boy cannot live in a community of boys without, as we say, getting the rough angles knocked off. Boys in their social life out of class and in the hostels discipline each other. A schoolboy soon gets such faults as conceit, priggishness, cowardice, meanness, and unsportsmanlike behavior, knocked out of him by the ridicule, criticism, and even rough treatment of his companions.
It is often at school that life-friendship are made. Boys soon get to know one another, and form fast friendship, that in after life are a great joy and source of strength to them.
The school games also develop a lad’s manly qualities, and not only make him physically strong, but also teach him “esprit-de-corps” and the true spirit of sportsmanship.
So when school-days are over, a boy feels miserable and really regrets as he has to leave the school he joined.