Yesterday, my old school, RBAI or Inst as it’s more commonly known, held a dinner to mark that 2015 is 10 years since we finished upper sixth there, leaving with A-levels, hopes and dreams.
I have loads of fond memories of Inst; the friends, teachers, learning my love of science (particular thanks to Mrs Muise and Mr Lynn here!), cricket, chess, swimming class with the torture of Mrs Eakin. Chilling at lunchtimes in the quad, or later in the sixth form centre. I won’t miss the rugby practice on cold and wet Saturday mornings, but regret not trying harder in sports – the glasses and not being able to see didn’t help; yay for contact lenses now!
However, despite the great memories and growth I experienced there, I didn’t go to the dinner. I kept myself as ‘maybe’ on the event, and asked around those friends I still socialise with, checking who was attending. In the end, there were too few of the people who liked me attending – and a few too many of those who didnt like me much based on how they treated me. A shame, but I felt like if I’d gone, I’d have been going back to a time where certain cliques excluded me, and I wasn’t up for doing that.
I’m sure now all is different with them though and they would think or act differently – I’m a massively different person 10 years later too. Instead of being a shy kid, hiding that he was gay and flinching everytime he was called it in the playground as a taunt, fearing discovery, I’m now a happy, out, engaged, confident man who has a good job, great friends, a loving partner, a black belt, and volunteers for the LGBT community. I hope that everyone else from school is equally enjoying their lives 10 years on.
So, looking back, I’ve lost touch with too many great people from school, which is a real shame – particular the ‘further maths’ crew – and so if anyone wants to catch up on the last 10 years, laugh about school, talk about what’s going on, have a pint, or all of the above, you don’t need a dinner at Inst to do it with me; just give me a shout sometime. It’d be great to hear how you’re getting on.