Those were the days! Students of Elthuruth's St Aloysius College reminisce about their school life

Abinandh Jayan, Ameeth Jeevan Thejus, Liyana Abdul Latheef, Krishnapriya and Hisana Badharu. Photo: Prasad Ramachandran/ St Aloysius College, Elthuruth/ BBA HRM

School life offers memories for a lifetime and as we grow up we get nostalgic about that phase. The recollections of loitering around after school time, hectic lunch breaks and joyful physical education sessions are often tinged with strong emotions. Speaking to Onmanorama, a few students of St Aloysius College at Elthuruth, Thrissur, reminisce about their most memorable days during their school education.

Krishnapriya of third-year BA Economics said school days were the best time of her life. “I miss everything about my school: teachers, friends, classrooms, etc. I believe my school, especially my Malayalam teacher, played a major role in molding my character and reading habits from a young age,” she said.

She said she managed to overcome her stage fright thanks to the opportunities for extracurricular activities at her school.

But comparison made her uncomfortable. "I felt uncomfortable when some teachers compared students with another based on marks and ability in extracurricular activities.”

Students of St Aloysius College, Elthuruth, at the campus' much-loved spot named 'Thuruth'. Photo: Prasad Ramachandran/ St Aloysius College, Elthuruth/ BBA HRM

Liyana Abdul Latheef, who is pursuing graduation in Commerce (Computer Applications), recounted her school days excitedly. “I miss my friends who were with me in the same class for almost 14 years. I studied in a convent school which had a lot of rules and restrictions. However, we enjoyed most of the free time we got. We loved sharing our lunch, snacks and small talks during short intervals,” said Liyana. She still cherishes her school tour.

“After being in an all-girls school for over 10 years, we were reluctant to talk to boys for a long time," she admitted, while also pointing out that such segregation is not conducive to nurturing healthy relationships with the other gender. Liyana said gender biases develop in such an atmosphere.

Students at the canteen in St Aloysius College, Elthuruth. Photo: Prasad Ramachandran/ St Aloysius College, Elthuruth/ BBA HRM

Not just Liyana, but Ameeth Jeevan Thejus, doing MA in English, has the same to say while sharing what he misses about his school days.

“I miss the chit-chat with friends and the brief recesses. Our school has a 'renowned' blackboard tree ('pala' in Malayalam) in the yard and a garden around it. We loved hanging out there,” he said wistfully.

“However, unlike colleges, we couldn't bunk classes or take some time for ourselves in school,” quipped Ameeth. Also, the general tendency of the authorities to ignore students' opinions or thoughts was another aspect he doesn't like about those times.

Meanwhile, Hisana Badharu, pursuing graduation in Multimedia Studies, has a different take. “I miss our National Service Scheme (NSS) activities. We used to have a lot of fun during our NSS tasks,” she said.

Another thing that Hisana misses the most is the cutlet at the school canteen. “Those are the tastiest cutlets that I have had in my life. We used to buy them and have them in between our classes, sitting on the backbench,” she recalled.

But then she is relieved that she does not have to mug up chapters. "Mugging up or book-based learning ended with our school life. College is beyond mere academic studies and rote learning for exams, which is the best part of higher studies.”

Students of 2nd year BBA HRM. Photo: Prasad Ramachandran/ St Aloysius College, Elthuruth/ BBA HRM

Chairperson of the Students' Council Abinandh Jayan, who is pursuing graduation in Commerce (Finance), recalled the days when he and his friends used to walk to his school and take more time loafing around while returning home. “I yearn to have those days back. The rush in buses, scoldings from bus conductors, sip-ups, and sweets from a nearby bakery are unforgettable moments in life,” he said. “We were mischievous back then and were seldom scolded by our teachers. We also loved football and used to rush out of our classrooms to the playground during our PT(physical training) period,” said Abinandh.

But he decried the gender bias ingrained in schools. “Teachers used to complain to our parents when we talked to girls. There was always a list of topics, such as sex education, that were considered taboo. This must be changed in schools,” he said.

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