If you've ever attended a regular school, you'll know that every school has its own quirks, traditions, and distinguishing qualities. An Assumptionista can be easily identified by her distinctive style of cursive, and a Povedan can be spotted from a mile away due to her characteristic yellow plaid skirt. But what about those out of the local school loop? Below are ten things only students from the International School of Manila can relate to!
- You have to come to school no matter what.
Living in the Philippines means one thing: typhoons are inevitable. Many schools heed the government warnings and abide by DepEd's school suspension announcements, but not ISM! ISM students are expected to come to school through rain, sun, storm, snow, hail, traffic—or all of the above combined.
- There's a new student every two weeks!
When you finally think you know everyone in the batch, but you suddenly discover a group of new kids you've never seen before. Going to ISM means having someone new move into your batch every two weeks, and meeting at least thirty new kids at the start of each school year. A downside is often watching your close friends leave unexpectedly—sometimes in the middle of the school year.
- You know the struggle of leaving your ID behind.
When you leave your ID at home and have to beg the Kantina cashier to let you make utang or pay with cash. The rule about only using your ID (which we load with lunch money) to buy food in the cafeteria isn't always your cup of tea. After all, it's easier to keep track of a whole wallet than a thin square of plastic!
- You always try to get away with wearing non-uniform shorts.
Our uniform shorts are either black or khaki, but let's face it: the uniform shop doesn't always sell school shorts or shirts in the right size. Although there's nothing much to be done about the shirts, you always go out of your way to buy better fitting shorts to wear to school, and spend every week praying you don't get caught.
- The students cheer for the school's team like it's the Olympics.
The whole school never fails to rally behind its athletes and fellow Bearcats (ISM's mascot) either abroad or at home as they compete in IASAS (Interscholastic Association of Southeast Asian Schools) sports.
- You have to take time out of school to attend special Catholic education classes.
We respect ISM's decision to not have specific religion classes out of consideration for all students of different religions that attend the school, but how else are we supposed to get our daily dose of Jesus?
- You have applications due every day of the week!
End of the year club and council applications that is. Halfway through the second semester, departing seniors decide to send out application forms to fill in soon-to-be-empty council positions. However, all these forms come out at the exact same time.
- You suddenly acquire a new accent.
You often find yourself speaking with an American accent, Australian accent, or any accent your friends may naturally speak in. Is it really your fault you have a good ear and a knack to mimic?
- You can get travel advice from a local any day of the week.
So you're going to Japan for the summer—who better to tell you where to go than that girl in your History class who grew up in Tokyo?
- You learn new words in different languages.
Now you can say, "where's the bathroom?" in Russian, "I don't speak English" in Korean, and words you would never dare to repeat out loud in Italian.
No matter which country someone is from or where they've previously lived, the ISM community is all-inclusive. Race, nationalities, and accents aside—we're all together in stressing over our exams.