I went to military boarding school in the U.S. for three years during middle school. My parents told me they me sent me there because I was intelligent, but lazy, and my messy room and grades in school reflected that.
There were a few negatives in that I did get bullied and almost got kicked out trying to do something about it, but overall going to military school was good for me. I made good friends, one of whom is still my best friend to this day. I became more disciplined and organized, making straight As for the first time in my life and graduating middle school as Valedictorian of my middle school class. I became more confident for having gone through military school, made good grades, and doing way better than my ‘bully’. The negative stuff even turned out to be a positive. The ‘bullying’ I got toughened me up and the teasing taught me to differentiate between insults and jokes (I used to take everything seriously). My “bully” even encouraged me to wrestle and play football my final year in which I did very well. My finest moment was when I was on the defense during kickoff and sprinted to the field because I didn’t realize I was supposed to be on the field. The other team redid kick off and I sprinted as fast as I could. I tackled a blocker, who fell back with enough momentum that he took out the ball carrier and stopped the play.
In military school I learned basic social graces and how to not be a complete pussy. By the time I got high school in another English-speaking country, I was just a little socially awkward. The lack girls in my military school hindered my experience (compared to a lot of kids today) and made my first week or two, very fun weeks (I ogled every single pretty girl I could). As I was learning how the place was like, wondering why people seemed to be intimidated by me (I was also afraid of no one), I started to realize something. I was being too nice. If someone asked me a favor, I would do it without expecting to gain from it. I used to bake brownies from ninth to tenth grade and feed them to the dorm or my classes (they really liked me for that). At dinner I would take up all the trays and forks and knives from the table to the tray and people told, “Hey man, you don’t need to do that!” When prodded for information, I told one guy about a part of military school in middle school, and he got scared and told our high school (which almost kicked me out). I was starting to learn that I had to be very careful of who, if anyone, I could trust, and that if I was too nice, people would take advantage of me.
I stopped being as nice and started to think more in terms of, “what’s in it for me?” when people asked for favors. I divided people into two groups: close friends, and everybody else. I was still pretty nice to my close friends, but lately I have realized that even they took advantage of me to some extent to (I’m not completely sure of to what extent by whom just yet). In a way, I swallowed a purple pill, a vital change that directed me on the path I am today.