I Ran Away From The Girls' Boarding School

A life 2023

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I Ran Away From The Girls' Boarding School
I Ran Away From The Girls' Boarding School

Video: I Ran Away From The Girls' Boarding School

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Video: Boarding School - Official Trailer 2023, January

A couple of days ago it became known that Sergei Shoigu opens in St. Petersburg a boarding house for the pupils of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation - an analogue of the cadet corps for girls. A similar educational institution has been operating in Moscow for ten years, annually receives awards as the best school of the Ministry of Defense and is considered exemplary. The pupils wear a uniform designed by Valentin Yudashkin. In addition to the usual lessons, the girls are engaged in additional education: at the boarding house there are studios for needlework, vocals, figure skating, sumo, journalism, theater, a brass band, a team of drummers and several dozen more clubs. After classes, girls are taken to theaters, museums, to meetings with famous people and solemn balls. All pupils are daughters of the military, upon admission priority is given to those whose parents serve in distant garrisons, have awards or died in the line of military duty. Girls are fully provided by the state.

From the description, the boarding house is a dream school that offers extraordinary opportunities. However, in reality, everything turns out to be not so rosy. Julia Ivanova (the name of the heroine has been changed) entered the Moscow institution immediately after its opening and studied there for almost three years - but one March day she packed her things, jumped over the fence and started running. We discussed with Yulia why life in the boarding house made her think about suicide, how the relationship between the pupils was built and what she now thinks about her experience.


Ksyusha petrova



When I was finishing the fifth grade, a telegram came to the military unit where my dad worked. She reported on the recruitment to a new Moscow school for the daughters of military personnel - the Boarding School for the pupils of the Ministry of Defense. The text promised mountains of gold, and there was almost no exaggeration in it: the boarding house really has everything to get an excellent education and then enter the best universities in the country. A huge number of circles, sections, you can develop yourself from all sides. They also promised horse rides, balls and excursions.

I grew up in a small military town in the Arkhangelsk region, which has not yet moved away from the 90s. My peers swore and boozed - in general, nothing unusual. Of course, I was eager to get into the boarding house - my parents did not even persuade me.

I can't say that it was very difficult to enter, the usual assignments. They passed three exams - Russian, English, mathematics - and a bunch of psychological tests, like in any military school. After admission, we were told that when selecting them, they pay attention first of all. Then there was an interview in which I answered basic questions: what is the Northern capital of Russia, when was the Great Patriotic War, and so on. We looked, and how you answer, and how you generally communicate - I had burning eyes, I was interested in everything, so I went through. In August, we learned that I had entered. Parents drank eleven bottles of champagne that day, the whole yard celebrated. Of course, they were sad to part with me: my mother was crying, I was crying, my father, who was taking me to the boarding house, too. All this is not weak stress, to be honest.


There are many people in the boarding house who lead you: there is a class teacher, day, night and Sunday educators, a head of the cycle (in ordinary school language, this is called a parallel). I don’t think that the educators deliberately set out to harass me - it’s just that when there is some kind of violation of discipline, in the boarding house you must definitely find the last one, and that person was always me. This whole system is based on the search for the culprit, the feeling of shame and fear: you are put in front of the whole cycle (these are sixty people) and reprimanded for any garbage. At any moment one could hear the cry: "So, Ivanova, got up!" I still hate being called by my last name.

Everyone understands that they could be in your place, but they quietly rejoice that they did not. And the teachers incite hostility: for example, the head of the cycle told my friends that they shouldn't get along with me. We were drummed from the very beginning that we were very lucky to be here and to have such opportunities that we should be grateful and not whine, otherwise we will go home in an instant. They said that it was impossible to shame the title of the pupil. At the same time, we did not exist on our own, only all together is a collective.


We were told

what if we misbehave

from the boarding house they will send a telegram to daddy's unit - and daddy will be fired. Everyone believed in it and sat quieter than water below the grass. Adults just scare a child

I have always had a keen sense of justice, and in general I am a receptive person. I could easily start a conversation that something was wrong - for example, why do we have such ugly shoes? Or why are we poorly fed? We were only given healthy food like broccoli - all because the Minister of Defense came to the boarding house one day and said that the girls were "overweight." And after that, the pupils were allowed to eat pasta and potatoes only on Saturdays. We were told all the time that we were being fed like astronauts. At the same time, it often happened that someone did not have time to dine: you come in last, and all the tasty things have been sorted out - you are chewing cabbage. I was constantly hungry, especially fast food and snacks: burger, shawarma, chips. On leave, we usually overeat of them and also tried to bring something with us to the boarding house - but it was very difficult, since upon returning we were searched. You could have kept chocolate and biscuits in the room, but not much - otherwise, you have to share with everyone. We had chocolates as currency: you let me write off my homework, I'll give you a chocolate bar.

There was a lot of snitching, especially in the first year. But they could have scolded and for no reason at all - for example, if you missed your parents and cry, and your friends came to console you. You could then be summoned to the carpet and said: "Why are you arranging gatherings in the room during self-preparation, disturbing others?" Often punished for words spoken in private conversations. In the morning you went from breakfast and discussed with your friend what a disgusting meal was, and in the evening the teacher comes and in such a theatrical manner in front of the whole class says: “I want to ask you: is there something that doesn’t suit anyone here? Doesn't anyone like it here? " Everyone is silent, and then they shout: "Ivanova, get up and repeat what you said earlier." And I don't even understand what this is about - after all, any conversation could be heard by the teacher and passed on to the management. We were told that if we misbehave, they will send a telegram from the boarding house to dad's unit - and dad will be fired. Everyone really believed in this and sat quieter than water below the grass. Adults just scare the child.

Once my friend Katya and I corresponded in an English lesson. They handed over ordinary pieces of paper - it was impossible to use telephones in the educational building. We had just arrived from vacation, had not seen each other for a whole month, and Katya said that during this time she began to meet with a guy. I asked what he was, what he was, there were obscene words in the notes - she wrote that he was oh ***, something like that. Discussed and forgotten. Several days pass, and Katya and I are urgently summoned from lessons and taken directly to the deputy director. They drag it there, without explaining anything. We go into the office - and on the table are our notes. It turns out that the night teacher climbed into my pencil case, which was in my room, and there was a crumpled piece of paper. The teacher took it out, read it, took it to the head of the cycle, and she took it to the head even higher, and they made a scandal for us. Katya stood and cried, but I sincerely did not understand what the problem was - why the hell did they climb in and read my note? After that moment, Katya was told to stay away from me, because I was "problematic." Probably, from their point of view, it really was so.

White crow

In the beginning, they tried to make friends like in a children's camp: everyone sits in a circle, passes some kind of lump, says their name, where are they from, and so on. There are twenty pupils in the class, and all these are girls of about eleven or twelve years old, who have left their family for six months. Naturally, everyone is stressed, and various psychological problems creep out that were not noticeable before. It so happened that from the very beginning my relationship with the class and especially with the teachers did not work out - I do not even remember how it all started, maybe I was naughty to some of the girls or answered sharply. But it doesn't matter - the point is that from the first days a tail of troubles followed me. When everyone just arrived and didn't really figure it out, it's easy to spot a person who stands out in some way and make him the scapegoat.

From the very beginning, we were frightened by the disciplinary commission - this is when teachers on educational work sit in front of you and chastise. Four months have passed since the beginning of training, and no one from our course has gone there yet. And suddenly the teacher said that they were sending me to the commission - I didn't even know why. As it turned out later, almost all the girls in my class were aware of, but they did not tell me anything.


We were constantly supervised: to move

it was impossible on the territory on its own

there were cameras everywhere on the street and on the floors of the building

A disciplinary commission is a public flogging: they put you in front of the commission, educators and the council of high school girls, they ask: "Why don't you get along with the team?" You mumble something in response. Well, what can you answer? You stand for ten minutes, then they tell you: "Well, look, don't do that anymore!" And they let go. In theory, if you get a few reprimands, you can supposedly be expelled. But mostly they left of their own accord - and there were many of them. Five more people from my class did not finish their studies, and these were not some C grade students, but stars, the hope of the boarding house.

After the very first disciplinary commission, my reputation was hopelessly damaged - everyone automatically decided that something was wrong with me, and the teachers constantly emphasized this. Every time something happened in class, I was guilty. Moreover, we did not have anything blatant, in other classes there were fights, for example. However, fights usually ended with an exception. They could be expelled for other reasons, for example, because of smoking. I also remember that one girl was expelled for candid photos posted somewhere on social networks.

Our social networks were monitored, and not only from the outside - after my escape, the management could easily log into my VKontakte account and restore my correspondence, which the girls and I deleted all night. In general, we were constantly supervised: it was impossible to move around the territory on our own, there were cameras everywhere on the street and on the floors of the building. They were not in the rooms, but we suspected that there was wiretapping - of course, this is hardly so, rather, a school conspiracy theory. Along the perimeter there were four-meter fences with sharp peaks - however, this did not prevent me from climbing over it. What a person is not capable of in a state of stress and panic.

Trying to be good

A psychologist worked at the boarding house. In the first year we were still taken to her when we asked, and then it was not encouraged. I think this is because during conversations with the psychologist, facts surfaced that clearly testified not in favor of the boarding house. It was impossible to doubt and say something negative: you should be grateful for the fact that you are studying in such a wonderful place. I remember one day the head of the cycle came to us and said: “Who there goes to the psychologist on their own? No need to walk, and mom does not need to call and cry - moms then start calling me. Chat with each other. Come to the class teacher, this is your second mother."

With a psychologist, I tried to discuss my teenage problems: that I feel unnecessary, lonely, that I am offended, that I miss my mother, that I am not allowed to fulfill myself. I sing well, and it helped me a lot at the boarding house, music was my outlet. In the choir, I was an indispensable viola, but I was not allowed to go on stage as a solo artist - they explained that there were already other artists. Some famous guests often came to us, and concerts were arranged for them. For example, an actor from the series "Closed School", or Ksenia Sobchak, or some musical group, a guitarist from "A-Studio" came. But questions could be asked only those that were given to you already written on a piece of paper

One of the girls with whom I was settled played the guitar - we wrote and recorded the song together, posted it on YouTube, and it received a huge number of views and positive comments. For this I was praised - with the wording "finally we have directed your negative energy in the right direction." In general, in terms of extracurricular activities in the boarding house, everything is fine: a bunch of studios and circles, a music school with a brass band - you could try everything. There were obligatory two studios to choose from, the rest - if you have time and at will. In addition to music, I also tried various sports, practiced batik. It was important for me to show that I can do something, that I can do something, that I am not as inveterate as the educators think.

The musical group in which I became a soloist helped to whiten my reputation a little. At first we performed only at discos, but later, by the end of my studies, I was allowed to attend a concert with an independent number. You can say I got recognition. But by that time it was all the same - I decided to run away.


Escape plan

In the third year, I realized that I simply could not be there any longer. During that period, I was sick a lot: when you are sick, there is an opportunity to go to the infirmary or go to the hospital. It is advisable to go to the hospital, because there no one bothers you with homework - you just lie and sleep. There was not enough sleep: in the evening everyone sat and finished their homework, on weekends we were raised only an hour later than on weekdays.

I was in deep despair, then it seemed to me that there was only one way out of my situation - suicide. I had a birthday, my mother came, and I asked for the last time to pick me up, but she refused. However, my mother can be understood: she understood where I would have to return and what my prospects were in my city, so she thought that the boarding house was better. I ran away on March 24.

The idea of ​​escaping came to me gradually. I heard Lumen's song "Sid and Nancy" and started reading articles about Sid and Nancy, Bonnie and Clyde and realized that I really didn't want to say goodbye to life, but just wanted to leave this place. I was fourteen, and I seriously thought that if I got outside the boarding house, I would merge with the crowd and I would never be found again. I thought that I would not be able to return home, that my parents would not accept me. She planned to wander and sing in the passages.


On the appointed day I looked at myself

in the mirror

and was horrified - sunken cheeks, huge bruises

under the eyes, even the hair fell out a lot from stress. Why no one

did not notice that something is wrong with me?

In many ways, I was inspired by the girl Yana, with whom we lay together in the hospital: she was a rebel and a few days after our return to the boarding house she ran away. Before that, there were also shoots. For example, one girl cut her girlfriends' school uniforms before leaving. There were also rumors that some girl ran away while going on an excursion or going to the cinema. Because of this, everyone was forbidden to see guys, friends or relatives during such events. I understood from the very beginning that I did not want to set anyone up and that on the same day it was necessary to call and tell me where I was.

Deep down, I really wanted there to be no escape, so that someone would notice that I was shitty, so that they would stop me and say: “Look, we were wrong, if you really feel so bad, let's just ask your parents to pick you up. good. " I did everything so that I could be stopped. I remember that on the appointed day I looked at myself in the mirror and was horrified - sunken cheeks, huge bruises under my eyes, and my hair fell out a lot from stress. Why didn't anyone notice that something was wrong with me? I do not understand.

The escape

It was Saturday and I went to my French lesson as usual. After him, some of the girls from our class had to go somewhere to a museum, and I, on the sly, left with them from self-study. A couple of days before that, I went down to the basement where our personal belongings were stored, begged for my clothes on the pretext that I wanted to take pictures, and hid them in a large bag under the bed. The neighbors from the block and a couple of girls from whom I borrowed money knew that I was going to run away - I collected three thousand rubles in total, for some reason it seemed to me that this was exactly what I needed. I secretly hoped that one of the girls would turn me over, they would tell my parents everything and they would have to pick me up.

But that did not happen. I changed from the uniform into my own clothes, put on a down jacket and asked the girl from the junior year to go out with me, and then tell the guard everything - I wanted to know that I had run away immediately. We made a couple of circles around the territory, and I chose a suitable place - there was a high snowdrift near the fence, however, the camera was looking directly at it, but I didn't care. On the first try I didn't succeed, and in order to finally make up my mind, I threw my bag over to the other side - to cut off the path back. It seems that then I prayed, and with a run I flew up the fence, grabbed these peaks, climbed over and started running.

A guy named Tyoma, who was supposed to help me escape, had been waiting for me for a long time at the Begovaya metro station. I saw him for the first time - he was a friend of my friend (I told a friend about the plan, and he advised Tyom who could help me). I shouted: “Is that you Tyoma? Let's run! " When we had already jumped into the subway car, I saw that they were chasing us - promptly, however, the boarding house worked. At the station, for some reason I broke my SIM card: I thought that without it I could not be tracked.

We went to the city of Krasnoznamensk near Moscow, where Tyoma lived and where it was planned to hide me. When we sat down in a cafe, they started calling my new friend and asking if I was with him - it turned out that I had forgotten to erase his number from my blackboard. The girls from the boarding house, whom I had left his phone number for communication in advance, also called Tema - they said that they were in a total hell, everyone was in a panic, they asked me to do something to stop it. At that moment, I started a strong panic attack: I realized how much despair and how little courage there was in my act and what the consequences could be for everyone.

I was shaking all over, I was exhausted. Tyoma and I hung out around Krasnoznamensk until the evening, met with his friends, who began to discuss that I could be hidden in someone's garage. I listened to all this and realized that it was time: I asked for a phone number and called my parents.


Dad asked a friend who also lived in Krasnoznamensk to pick me up. Someone's birthday was being celebrated in his apartment, and I was sitting in another room in a daze. They gave me tea, food, and when everyone left, my father's friend sat me down in front of him and began to ask - why I ran away, what happened. It started as a heart-to-heart conversation, but it became more and more like an interrogation - then I found out that my friend was from the FSB. Most of all, he wanted to know what kind of guy he helped me escape, and most importantly - whether he was a serviceman. If he was a Suvorov soldier, a cadet or, God forbid, older, he would be very bad. But neither Tyoma nor the other guys were found.

I went to the VKontakte network and saw a huge number of messages from girls from the boarding house, most of them from strangers. They were divided into two parts: some wrote "you fool, because of you the rules will be toughened and it will be even more difficult for us to live here", and others - "respect, it's a pity that we do not have the courage to do this." I couldn't read everything.

A big official was taking me to Moscow from Krasnoznamensk. We were followed by Natasha and Dima, friends of the family, who used to often send me packages, but while everyone was looking for me, they pasted leaflets at metro stations. I really wanted to leave with them, but they brought me back to the boarding house - for two days, while my dad got to me, I lived in the isolation ward.


Dad immediately calmed down, and mom is with me

haven't spoken for a month. She even left home to live separately - it was so hard for her to forgive me

Teachers who hated me sat and spent the night with me - after all, they were all reprimanded because of me. This property of the military structure - just that, everyone gets. I didn’t do anything, didn’t go online, I just lay there, slept, ate and looked at the wall. I remember the Sunday teacher told me that she "didn't know how to look me in the eye now." However, they didn’t force me to talk - but what could I tell them, about the reasons for my escape? There was a feeling that everyone already understood why - and if any other girl ran away, it would also be understandable. I told my dad on the phone that I would not stay here, and he replied: "We'll see." And this "let's see" just destroyed me.

On the last night, the head of the cycle stayed with me - she behaved as if nothing had happened, and at night, when we had already gone to bed, she began to ask me about other girls, trying to find out who is who: “Julia, help me understand, here this man, what is he? It seems to me that there is a lot of shit in it, forgive the expression. And about this one we can say that devils are found in a still whirlpool, right?"

Dad came to pick me up in military uniform - this is how it should be according to the rules of the boarding house. I still remember his flushed face: an adult man, a major, sits in the director's office and they tell him that his daughter corresponded with someone, she called someone a fool. His child disappeared, decided to run away, was wanted at all airports and train stations, and he was told about some teenage nonsense. I thought at least this part would be calm, but they finally decided to remember all my mistakes. For some reason, the deputy for educational work began to joke that if I stayed, I could play for the high jump team.

New life

I finished my studies at home, everything worked out perfectly in the new school - I studied, fell in love, asked for some time off, I began the life of a normal teenager. Everything they scared me with turned out to be stupidity. Nobody fired my dad. When we got on the train to go home, he said, “Okay, exhale. We all knew it would be like this. " Grandparents said the same thing later. It pissed me off: if you knew why I was going through this hell, why didn’t they take me away when I asked about it? Dad immediately calmed down, and mom did not speak to me for a month. She even left home to live separately - it was so hard for her to forgive me. But then the relationship improved - she just needed time. Once, when the guests left us, she came up to me and with tears in her eyes said: "Forgive me for the boarding house." But I don't blame her: I myself wanted to study there, and I myself left this place.

After returning, I tried to please my parents, to show that I was good: I studied normally, tried not to mow, except smoked. It turned out that I was not at all adapted to ordinary civil life - for example, my mother once sent me to the store for a nail polish remover, and I bought some of the most sophisticated and expensive, because I did not know how much it should cost.

It was hard for me to get used to the fact that you can easily be friends and communicate with boys.In the boarding house, we saw guys at discos and other events - they brought Suvorovites or cadets to us. A big drama unfolded in front of the disco - it was necessary to vote and decide who would come this weekend: half of the high school students had Suvorov guys, the other had cadets. Long-distance relationships are a sore point for boarding school girls. They all had similar stories about a boy from his hometown who promised to wait and then started dating another. We all knew the Suvorovites and cadets, and it often turned out that your new boyfriend is your former classmate. Of course, we did not talk about relations with educators, we had to go through all the heartfelt dramas ourselves.

In general, we did not have the opportunity to love there. They didn’t plant anything, but they could shame: for example, if you went to a disco and drew “too long” arrows, they would say “Who will marry you so painted”. It was forbidden to go to the disco with loose hair, as in the rest of the time - we already had a headache from these constant braids. There were many moments when you, as a woman, could be offended. The most revealing fact: as you know, there can be only one excuse from the pool - monthly. And you had to prove that you have them now: pull out the tampon in front of the doctors or show the pad. I remember the scandal when one girl really did not want to go, she had to take the used pad from a friend, and she was caught. It was all incredibly humiliating.


I thought for a long time about whether it was weakness or strength - to do such an act as I did. I probably cannot call myself a weak person, but since then I have definitely had psychological difficulties that interfere with my life. I wish that this would not happen to anyone else. As long as this Soviet-army style of upbringing exists, children will come out crippled - they will stand and smile in a photograph, with a diploma from Moscow State University, be sure to be married, with a good job, but hell will remain inside. Most of the girls I follow on social networks do not indicate anywhere that they studied in a boarding house, as if this did not happen - what is there to be proud of? Many do not go to the "best universities in the country", but to ordinary institutions in their hometowns. Then it is not at all clear why there was so much killing.

After boarding school, you can easily arrange a military career, proceed further without exams. But now I can’t imagine how it is possible from one form, from which we are all so tired, to immediately change into another. My dad, although also a military man, hates all these structures, he is generally an anarchist at heart. Yes, in the boarding house no one will beat you or fine you, but morally you can be destroyed and broken very badly. My mother once said well: when you assemble a broom, it doesn't happen that all the twigs come together, some will still knock out - so I was such a twig.

You don't exist as a unit at the boarding house. No Julia - there is a pupil. All the time they tried to convince us that we are supermen, that we are the best and strongest. This attitude is very annoying when you go out into the big world. Of course, it is good when you are mentally strong, when you can exist under stress, cope with stress. But I think that in a person it is necessary to educate, first of all, a personality. Each girl is special, she can have a wayward character, weaknesses, a desire to be a simple person, and not a combat soldier, proudly bearing the title of "pupil". I think you should always say if you are offended, leave if you are not heard, and not give in when they try to break. I sincerely wish all the girls who study at the boarding school not to believe that without him they cannot become worthy people. You may not be able to dance the waltz, not know the French language, but be a person who has views, a healthy desire to defend them and independent conclusions, not imposed by an educator. Being a twig dropped from a broom is not the worst alternative.Especially when the whole world switched to harvesting machines long ago.

I still have nightmares about the boarding house, I can jump up in the middle of the night, because I dreamed that I was being reprimanded again in front of everyone. I am an editor, but even with the usual calm dialogue with the author, my palms are sweating. I think that now the author will tell everyone in the editorial office that I am a bad employee and person, and no one will stand up for me, and they will kick me out. It passes quickly, but in the moment it is very scary. The bad, of course, is forgotten, but there are situations that return to the past. For example, once at the university I did not have time to do the work, I dug up and burned me, well, they scolded me. It was a Vietnamese flashback. It would seem, what is so terrible about it - but I stand there, tears in a stream, and it seems that everyone will leave me and turn away - everything is like in a boarding house.

Now I have big trust issues. At the boarding house there was a lot of silence, snitching, and I do not remember that any of the girls stood up for me before the authorities at least once and said that everything was not the way they imagine. Now I have very high demands on my friends. With the girls from the boarding house, we are subscribed to each other on Instagram, we like each other, but we do not communicate closely. I have no complaints about them. I believe that the environment in which we were and the adults who supported it are to blame for everything.

Most of the former pupils are as traumatized as I am. I was convinced of this a year and a half ago. A girl with whom we studied together turned out to be at the party - she was in another class, and I do not remember her at all. We got into a conversation with her, discussed the boarding house, and I said: "Come on, don't worry, it's all over already." And then she burst into tears. And I stood and hugged her - this is a stranger to me, but I perfectly understood what was happening to her.

Images: Vadim Maslov - stock.adobe.com

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